photo by Robin Alam/ISIphotos.com
By FRANCO PANIZO
HARRISON, N.J. — The New York Red Bulls will not be at full health on Wednesday, but they will be pretty close to it.
Midfielder Tim Cahill and centerback Armando are set to be available for the Red Bulls’ home game vs. the Philadelphia Union on Wednesday night. Cahill and Armando had been dealing with hamstring issues that forced them out of action. Cahill missed a 2-2 draw in Montreal on April 5 and the following 1-0 loss to D.C. United while Armando was out only for the match at RFK Stadium.
“They went full today, they went full yesterday,” said head coach Mike Petke, whose Red Bulls are still seeking their first win of the season after an 0-2-4 start. “Tim’s been out of action for a while, Armando for just 10-11 days, so it all comes down to what’s the best fit tomorrow, if they start or come off the bench. We’re going to figure that out.
“Do we have a minute put down? No. I think with someone like Armando, it would be reckless to start him, but I think if we needed to we could get away with it. As far as I know [and] as far as he’s relaying to us and the medical staff, Tim feels good but he’s been out for a while. It’s just about figuring out what the best role is for him, to throw him right back in or give him an opportunity off the bench and give him one more week to really get into it.”
While Petke left the door open for Cahill to get a start, the Australian international hinted at being used in a reserve role.
“It’s only been two weeks so I still need to be careful,” said Cahill. “I’m probably my own worst enemy, but we’ve dealt with it really well. Every day has been a progression. I’ve had two big sessions … I’ll be ready to go but I suppose it’s one of those ones (where) it’s the manager’s and medical staff’s decision, but I’m going to put myself near enough, 80-90 percent to play.
“It’s up to the manager. I can’t see starting, just in case, but overall I feel good and you push yourself in certain stages in the week and I’ve had a really hard two weeks and for a 4-6 week injury it seems pretty good.”
One player who will not be available against the Union due to a hamstring issue of his own is Bobby Convey. Convey picked up the injury in a training session during the middle of last week’s preparations for D.C., and he still has not returned to the practice field.
Petke ruled him out for Wednesday, but did not offer a timetable for Convey’s recovery.
What do you think of the Red Bulls getting Cahill and Armando back? Do you think they should start or is it better to rest them one more game? What should New York’s lineup be tomorrow?
Share your thoughts below.