UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. – The Red Bulls are preparing for a Saturday afternoon Eastern Conference tussle with Kansas City, and they might be doing it without midfielder Rafa Márquez.
On Friday afternoon following training, head coach Hans Backe confirmed that Márquez may not be a part of his squad’s Starting XI in the match against the Wizards.
“He knocked his knee a couple days ago in practice,” Backe told MLSSoccer.com. “He didn’t train today. He is uncertain I’d say for tomorrow.”
Backe’s club is, however, buoyed by good news this week about the form of forward Thierry Henry. The former French international was sidelined last weekend in Los Angeles following his own slight knee knock the week before. After a week of rehabilitation and regeneration, Henry has practiced in full this week with the club, including the Friday morning training session.
The injury, however, will limit the Red Bulls striker’s minutes in Saturday’s contest.
“Probably not [90 minutes]. 65 minutes, maybe 70 minutes on Saturday,” Backe said. “In a way, it depends on the type of game it ends up being.”
Carey Talley, meanwhile, continues to rehab from a hamstring injury suffered last Friday night in the 2-0 win over the Galaxy.
“I went for a tackle, and it felt like something just grabbed me,” Talley said.
Talley has not kicked a ball this week, instead focusing on rehab and regeneration.
“I hope to begin jogging next week,” Talley said. “I’m disappointed obviously, I wanted to go out there and settle in, prove myself to the guys.”
News & Notes
When asked if the injury to Márquez could see Mehdi Ballouchy drop from a withdrawn striker role into a deeper midfield responsibility, Backe smiled and simply said, “you will have to wait and see on Saturday."…Brian Nielsen did extensive rehabilitation work on Friday while the team trained, working on strengthening his knee and building lateral movement.
Kristian Dyer can be reached for comment at KristianRDyer@yahoo.com and followed at twitter.com/kdyer1012