The New York Red Bulls are not in action again until October 16, which is handy because the squad could use a little time to get back to full strength.
In the first training session since RBNY's thrilling 3-2 win over Philadelphia Union, head coach Jesse Marsch revealed to Big Apple Soccer's Kristian Dyer that forward Omer Damari - an unused sub for the Union game - is "not quite 100 percent yet".
The Red Bulls have played six games (four in MLS; two in CONCACAF Champions League) since Damari's last appearance. His injury problems since joining RB Leipzig are well known, and they have not abated since he arrived in New York. Assuming the two-week break is what he needs to get back to full fitness, Damari will have two regular season games and whatever RBNY is able to achieve in the playoffs to make the best of his loan to New York.
The other half of the attacking help the Red Bulls acquired as a late-summer boost to their prospects, Daniel Royer, pulled up lame ahead of the Union game. His absence is described to Big Apple Soccer as "at least two weeks" by Jesse Marsch. And that is "not as bad as we originally feared," the head coach told Kristian Dyer.
The third man on RBNY's injury list is center back Ronald Zubar. BAS reports RBNY expects to have the defender available for selection by the time the team is required to play Columbus Crew (October 16).
Injuries have been a constant hindrance to RBNY this season, which perhaps makes it all the more remarkable that the team is top of the Eastern Conference in MLS with two games left in the regular season.
Nonetheless, the more players that are fit, the better for the team. Certainly, one hopes Marsch doesn't ever again (this year, anyway) have to tell reporters "we chose not to use" a potential substitute in a pivotal match because that player was not yet fully recovered from injury.