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Report: New York Red Bulls' Justin Bilyeu has a broken hand

But he's on the mend, we're told.

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Red Bulls are back in Arizona - a little earlier than expected, but their scheduled friendly with Sacramento Republic had to be cancelled and so RBNY has adjusted its plans. The Red Bulls will play FC Tucson in a friendly on Saturday, February 11, to compensate for the lost opportunity to get minutes into the preseasoning legs of the first teamers against Sacramento.

And it really isn't until February 11, perhaps even February 15 - when the team plays what is expected to be its last friendly before its season-opening CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal against Vancouver Whitecaps - that we need be too concerned about the squad's injuries and absentees.

But the Red Bulls were wise to draw attention an injury that has appeared in the squad, using a training camp interview with Jesse Marsch to get a timely piece of information out to fans: Justin Bilyeu has a broken hand.

Well, he's reportedly broken a metacarpal - so he's broken a bone in his hand, though the distinction likely doesn't mean much to him. His hand hurts, it's wrapped up, it will heal.

It's not ideal for RBNY. Starting left back Kemar Lawrence will be heading for international duty with Jamaica shortly. Bilyeu is the presumptive back-up at the position this season. After him, the squad starts to look a little thin: Connor Lade and Gideon Baah can play left back, but both are still recovering from injury so their status is uncertain; Sal Zizzo can play the left side of defense in a pinch, but he's already a convert from midfield to right back, so moving him to left back always seems to be pushing him even further away from his comfort zone.

But there are worse injuries to have. Indeed, playing professional sports with a broken hand has an impressive history.

West Indies cricketer Malcolm Marshall put in a memorable one-handed performance against England in 1984.

Irish rugby international Rory Best put in a little time with a broken arm against New Zealand in 2013.

Australian rugby league pro Dylan Walker played a match in 2015 while trying to keep one hand out of harm's way.

Bilyeu's in good company if he has to play competitively before his hand has fully healed.