The New York Red Bulls are making strides toward a return to a full-strength team. The two major injury concerns in the squad - Gonzalo Veron and Mike Grella - are both well advanced on the road to recovery, per the estimation of head coach Jesse Marsch.
In Veron's case, it would appear that a long and frustrating period on the sidelines - that started with a knock picked up against Vancouver Whitecaps on March 2 - is finally at an end. Marsch has spent a lot of the last month walking back optimistic statements about Veron's fitness, but the message on Thursday, April 20, was as positive an assessment of the Argentine's condition as we have heard in the last seven weeks:
Gonzalo's trained every day. Looks like he's ready to go.
Indeed, Marsch was willing to acknowledge Veron might be ready to get back into the match-day 18.
We're hopeful to include him in the group. Signs are positive. And then we can think about how many minutes he can give on Saturday. But all the signs right now lead to him being available.
Perhaps there will be a Veron sighting in RBNY's game against Columbus Crew on April 22.
The other player who has been sidelined for a while, Mike Grella, is also making progress - though he is not as advanced in his recovery as Veron. "He hasn't started training with the team yet," Marsch said, adding he was hoping to see Grella start to train with his teammates again next week.
Asked whether Grella might see time with NYRB II as part of his rehab, Marsch didn't rule it out, but said the team was minded to keep the player off artificial turf (the playing surface at the II team's home ground at Montclair State University) for the moment.