UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. – Thierry Henry won't be the only Red Bull staying home for New York's MLS Cup Playoffs opener Saturday.
Fellow striker Salou Ibrahim, as well as midfielder Tony Tchani, have also been officially ruled out of the match at San Jose. None of the players will travel with the club across the country for the first leg of their Eastern Conference semifinal series.
Henry has been limited with the club this week and has missed the past two games with a knee injury he suffered in training. According to Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe, the striker will stay home and work with a private trainer in an effort to rehab. Backe ruled out any types of shots at this point in an effort to get the striker on the field.
“We’ll try again with the ball next week,” Backe said of Henry. “It’ll still be day by day.”
Tchani and Ibrahim are both down with right hamstring injuries, which kept them out of Thursday’s practice. The second overall pick in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft, Tchani has become a regular with the team.
[inline_node:305111]The loss of Ibrahim is a great blow as well to New York, as the forward started the last game of the regular season and was penciled in to start this weekend in San Jose.
There is some good news for the Red Bulls as midfielder Joel Lindpere returned to the practice field on Thursday following a groin injury in training on Friday. The knock kept Lindpere from fully training with the team on Monday and Tuesday.
“Perhaps we’ve been training too hard this season,” Backe said of the recent rash of injuries.
The New York coach did add, however, that there is a strong possibility that Tchani will be back with the club next week and training ahead of next Thursday’s second leg of the playoffs.
And with Henry’s availability next week very much up in the air, Backe is hopeful that he will also have Ibrahim back to potentially partner up top with Juan Pablo Angel.
“I think [Ibrahim] will probably start training next week,” Backe said.
Kristian R. Dyer can be reached for comment at KristianRDyer@yahoo.com and followed at twitter.com/kdyer1012