The New York Red Bulls appeared to have almost cleared their injury list during the week preceding their game against Chicago Fire. Gonzalo Veron's long, slow recovery from an injury sustained at the beginning of March was officially marked complete when he came off the bench in the 65th minute of the Chicago game to play his first competitive minutes in almost two months. Sal Zizzo didn't make the match-day squad, but is thought to be fit to participate in RBNY's upcoming double-game week. And there were optimistic reports about Mike Grella's recovery from his lingering knee issue.
After RBNY's training session on Monday, May 1, Jesse Marsch remained optimistic about Grella, stating very clearly that a place in the team's game-day 18 against Philadelphia Union on May 6 is "what we're shooting for". That optimism is based on a recovery schedule Marsch was happy to share:
He's trained probably six really good days in a row. Tomorrow [Tuesday, May 2] he has off, he'll train Wednesday with the USL, then he'll train Thursday with us, then we are very hopeful that at that point he's ready to be included in the group.
So no Grella for RBNY's trip to play Sporting Kansas City on May 3, but the Red Bulls hope he'll be in the mix when the team gets ready to play Philadelphia - which will be its third game in an eight-day stretch dating back to the Chicago game on April 29.
But the weekend also revealed fresh injury concerns for RBNY. Shortly before the starting lineup against Chicago was announced, it was revealed Aurelien Collin is "week-to-week" after picking up an injury during the build-up to the Fire's visit to Red Bull Arena.
Marsch was optimistic about what the center-back's recovery prospects:
Aurelien picked up a little bit of a groin strain in training last week, he's still not out at training so...I think it's been listed as week-to-week, we're hopeful it's faster than that.
But his optimism is challenged somewhat by MSG Networks' Kristian Dyer, who has cited sources suggesting the true timetable for Collin's recovery is "up to four weeks". That would certainly appear to rule out any role for Collin in RBNY's next two games, and would suggest the team might have to cope without the center-back for most - if not all - of May: up to five games.
And there is also the question raised during the Chicago game about Kemar Lawrence's condition. The left-back was RBNY's man-of-match against Chicago by any reasonable measure, but in his post-game comments to MSG Networks' Tina Cervasio, he effectively described having suffered a concussion in the build-up to the game and perhaps re-aggravating the injury during the match.
Jesse Marsch spoke directly to concerns about Lawrence on Monday, May 1, stating the player was only on the field against Chicago because he had satisfied the team's medical staff that he was fit to play, and that a review of his condition at half-time had also declared the left back fit to continue.
Lawrence was not in training on Monday, but that was because he was in Jamaica, attending his grandmother's funeral. The team expects him to join the squad in Kansas City for its May 3 match, which certainly suggests he is not on any sort of concussion protocol.