The return of Bradley Wright-Phillips will not be this weekend and it might not be next weekend either.
Speaking to reporters on his weekly conference call, New York Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke said Wright-Phillips would miss this Saturday’s home game against the New England Revolution due to the right hamstring strain the English forward sustained in a 1-0 win over FC Dallas on Sept. 22. Petke added that while Wright-Phillips could be back in training as soon as next week, nothing was certain yet.
“Bradley is definitely out this weekend,” said Petke of Wright-Phillips, who played well enough during his time on the field to earn four straight starts before suffering the injury. “His prognosis is more of wait until the hamstring feels better and then we get him out doing the light training and stuff, so that could be the next week, it could be the week after.”
Roy Miller and Connor Lade also are unlikely to suit up against the Revolution in what is New York’s third-to-last game of the regular season. Miller is still nursing an Achilles’ problem while Lade continues to deal with a knee issue.
Miller and Lade’s absences have not been felt due to the steadily-improving play of David Carney at left back, but the Red Bulls are only a red card or injury away from finding themselves in a tough spot at that position due to a lack of natural left-sided options behind the Australian international.
Petke is not too worried about that hypothetical situation, however. In fact, he sees no issue in sliding over a right-footed fullback if it were to come down to that.
“We’ve had Kosuke [Kimura] play at left back at certain moments this season. Brandon [Barklage] is a right back as well that I think can easily transition over to the left side, so I’m not super concerned,” said Petke. “But if things like that happen, you have to adapt and like I said, we have Brandon and Kosuke. One of them could step over and would have to play.”
Franco Panizo covers the New York Red Bulls for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached by e-mail at Franco8813@gmail.com.