By DAVE MARTINEZ
New York Red Bulls Designated Player Rafa Marquez will once again be designated to the injured list.
Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe said a scan of his calf revealed another injury, forcing the former Mexican captain out of the team’s next several games.
“I think it’s around two weeks he’s out,” Backe said. “I’m not quite sure exactly what the scan said, but when I talked to the trainers they said around two weeks.”
The injury is yet another setback for Marquez who will now officially miss his 13th game of the season when New York takes on the Philadelphia Union at Red Bull Arena for this Saturday’s matinee.
The Mexican midfielder/defender has played in eight of a possible 20 games this season due to injuries and suspensions. In fact, of a possible 68 matches throughout his tenure with New York, he has appeared in just 41 (12 out of 14 in 2010, 21 of 34 in 2011).
Marquez re-aggravated his calf within the first 20 minutes of play against the Seattle Sounders this past Sunday while struggling to cover former international foe Eddie Johnson. He jogged off the pitch, in no visible pain, making a dash to the tunnel while failing to acknowledge either his coach or teammates on the sideline.
He did not train with the team on Friday.
"It’s difficult to say why you pick up (the same injury)," Backe said. "I’m not quite sure why. I have no answer for that."
OTHER INJURIES STILL LINGER
Also ruled out for the Union match are Ryan Meara, who continues to fight an ongoing hip injury; defender Heath Pearce, who was replaced for the MLS All-Star Game by San Jose's Justin Morrow because of a hamstring issue; and Jan Gunnar Solli, who is also on the mend with a hamstring injury of his own.
Meara's injury means that newcomer Bill Gaudette will earn his third straight start for the Red Bulls in his first week with the team after being acquired from Los Angeles.
Both Markus Holgersson and Wilman Conde, who have recently returned from injury issues of their own, should be available as well. It was feared Conde may have re-aggrevated his groin injury after being taken out against Chicago on Wednesday, but appears to be ready to enter the fray this Saturday.
TAINIO NEARING RETURN AFTER CAREER SCARE
Veteran defensive midfielder Teemu Tainio continued training with the team. Tainio, who was once feared to have suffered a career-ending ligament tear in his knee, is working toward making his first appearance with the club since March 31.
"There wasn’t any guarantee that my knee wasgoing to be good," Tainio said. "Maybe I started to practice too early. I have afeeling it wasn’t really healing up yet so it set me backwards. But I’mhoping to be in action very soon."
Though Tainio feels well enough to perhaps garner a start next week against Montreal, Backe has eyes on a tentative return for the Red Bulls' friendly against Tottenham on July 31.