HARRISON, N.J. — Red Bulls forward Thierry Henry is a question mark for New York's road game at Houston on Saturday night (8:30 pm ET, MSG, Direct Kick, MatchDay Live) after head coach Hans Backe revealed on Thursday that Henry injured himself while extending to score the game’s first goal in a 3-2 loss to Chivas USA last Sunday.
Henry now has a swollen right knee and only trained for 30 minutes on Thursday morning. It was the French Designated Player’s first practice session of the week after regeneration on Monday and rehabilitation the following two days.
“I didn’t want to take a risk,” Henry said Thursday as to why he pulled himself out of training.
The Red Bulls' leading scorer will now take 24 hours and hope to train on Friday ahead of the team’s flight to Houston. Henry, who suffered a similar knee injury last fall, said that this current knock “is not as bad.”
“It’s gotten better,” he said. “The major thing that’s weird is controlling the ball.”
According to Backe, a decision will be made Friday as to Henry's availability for the Dynamo match.
Debunking Pirès: Henry may be uncertain for the Houston game, but what he is certain and firm on is that he hasn’t been trying to get Robert Pirès to join him in New York.
Earlier this week a story surfaced in England which quoted Pirès — a former teammate of Henry at both Arsenal and with the French national team — as saying that Henry has been in contact with him about coming to play in MLS and has been attempting to sway him to join the Red Bulls.
“I never said that,” Henry said Thursday. “I never spoke to him about him coming.”
Henry called Pirès a “very good friend” but flat out denied the remarks from his former teammate.
“He’s 37 soon, he should be able to talk like a grown man,” Henry said. “But he likes to talk.”
Since arriving in MLS last July, Henry has openly admitted to talking up the league to former teammates who are curious about coming over to play in MLS. Henry said he has had similar conversations with Pirès, but not the type where he has tried to play ambassador for the league.
Pirès had been linked with moves to both New York and Philadelphia last season before eventually signing with Aston Villa.
“The way that came out, I was like, ‘Wow,’” Henry said. “We speak about it, but not the way it came out.”
Kristian R. Dyer can be followed at twitter.com/KristianRDyer