The chances of seeing Gonzalo Veron start for the New York Red Bulls are getting better by the day. Word out of Thursday's team training is that Mike Grella has a minor knock - a bruised knee - that saw him sit out the session. Head coach Jesse Marsch told Big Apple Soccer's Kristian Dyer the player "needs an extra day, but we expect that he'll be ready for the weekend."
As previously noted, the club's estimations of player fitness tend to be optimistic. If Grella doesn't recover his fitness in time, the team does have Daniel Royer back from a stint on the injury list, but Marsch told BAS he wasn't yet convinced the Austrian had enough wind in his sails for a full game:
The only reason I would say he wouldn’t start is I’m not sure he’s 90-minute fit. And we need to put as many 90-minute guys on the field to start. But we’ll see, we’ll see how it goes. He’s looked really good.
Veron is some way down Marsch's depth chart, but that depth is starting to look a little thin with just two days left before RBNY's must-win playoff game against Montreal Impact.
Kemar Lawrence was reportedly back in training, as predicted by Marsch on Wednesday. Kristian Dyer reports for BAS that the left back had his session cut short, but the head coach remains positive about the Jamaican's chances of being ready to start on Sunday.
There is less positive news about Ronald Zubar. On Thursday morning, the club's official site was telling us the defender (along with Lawrence and Royer) was "likely available this weekend". By Thursday afternoon, Jesse Marsch was walking back his optimism about the center back, explaining to Kristian Dyer:
We think he’s actually picked up a second little injury in his rehab so we’ll see. He might be available for the weekend or it might be a little bit longer.
Zubar has been unavailable for a while now, so his continued absence is not really a loss. It is the fitness of Lawrence, Grella and Royer that give greater cause for concern. The squad is thin at left back, and Omer Damari's suspension for the Montreal game has already robbed the team of attacking depth. Hope for better news out of Friday's training session.