UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. – Towards the end of Red Bulls practice on Tuesday morning, the club released a statement that star striker Thierry Henry was suffering from a nagging knee injury and would not be available to play on Friday in the Red Bulls much-anticipated matchup with the Western Conference leading Los Angeles Galaxy. The forward did extensive fitness and agility work with the team’s training staff on Tuesday but did not participate in drills.
Surgery is not needed for the injury, which is similar to the one that Henry suffered prior to the 2002 World Cup. The plan for the Red Bulls striker is for rehabilitation and continued stretching of the injured knee, said Backe.
Should Henry miss Friday's match, it seems likely that forward Juan Pablo Ángel and recent addition Mehdi Ballouchy will form the striker partnership. Ángel was relegated to a substitute role last Thursday night for New York’s 2-2 road draw with FC Dallas, while Ballouchy started as a withdrawn forward behind Henry.
“That’s probably the first choice,” Backe said of an Angel-Ballouchy forward tandem.
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