Red Bulls midfielder Brian Nielsen practiced with the team for the fourth time in a month since injuring his knee in a U.S. Open Cup match against New England in May.
Nielsen isn’t sure what happened in the match to cause the injury, though he did have surgery on the right knee over a year ago.
Nielsen said he woke up in the middle of the night immediately after the game in pain. In the morning, it was so bad that he couldn’t walk. He immediately had a scan done.
“The doctors said the bones clashed together,” Nielsen told MLSSoccer.com, pounding his fists together to illustrate his point. “It hurt, and they’re not sure why.”
Over the past three weeks, Nielsen has used the time to work on his fitness, something head coach Hans Backe said he wanted to see an improvement on. The left midfielder has dedicated himself to getting fit, and though the injury has derailed that pursuit, he is closing in on full match fitness. He estimates that in about two weeks, he will be able to play 90 minutes.
The player is hopeful that he will ready to make an appearance this weekend against Kansas City. Backe thinks that might be a tad ambitious.
“He’s been away for a long, long time,” Backe told MLSSoccer.com. “He needs to get the sharpness back. Perhaps maybe, the cup game next week will be a good opportunity for him.”
Nielsen said that his left leg is fine but that he has “no power” in the right leg. He has full ability to sprint and train though, which he said will help him in getting ready for the next appearance with the team, whenever that might be.
The former Danish youth international admitted he is frustrated by the injury.
“I want to be out there and helping this team," he said.
Kristian Dyer is a reporter for MLSSoccer.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs. He can be reached for comment at KristianRDyer@yahoo.com and followed at twitter.com/kdyer1012
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