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Injury update: Morales, Olave probable for Portland

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MLS: Real Salt Lake at Orlando SC Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Javier Morales is on the road to recovery, with Salt Lake Tribune reporter Chris Kamrani saying that he trained fully today. That could mean Morales returns against Portland, and while it's not a certainty, you can probably count on it.

Jamison Olave hasn't been fully involved in training, suffering a quad injury early in RSL's win over Seattle. He's been described as "probable" for the match. I'd pencil him in for the match, but there may be a certain reluctance on the part of the team to take an early risk on turf with Olave.

Phanuel Kavita is out for a reported eight weeks with an MCL injury, Kamrani reported last weekend. That won't have an immediate effect on this one, but it could be interesting if Olave is out.

Finally, Kamrani reported today that Olmes Garcia suffered an ankle sprain on Tuesday, but that he could be back in training on Thursday.

Replacements

While there's no need for a replacement for Kavita, the other three would need to be considered if they aren't ready to appear.

Morales would be replaced against by Jordan Allen, who deputized for the playmaker against Seattle. While he presented a clear departure in style from the veteran, Allen offered a good amount of quality in the role.

Olave's potential absence would be solved by inserting Justen Glad into his role, which some readers have certainly clamored for. He's certainly a less physical defender than Olave, but he could help provide some needed balance to the defense as a more 'cerebral' center back.

Glad is, of course, young and still inexperienced, so there is some assumption of risk if he plays. There's not much alternative, regardless: With Kavita out, Glad is the only true center back available. Chris Wingert, Danilo Acosta, and Boyd Okwuonu would be eligible for the center back position in a pinch, but it's hard to imagine they'd be first choice.

Olmes Garcia is an interesting case, because he's near-certain to not start — but he's been one of the first players off the bench in each match. His speed and athleticism will stretch teams, certainly, but he also presents a goalscoring threat that's yet to be realized. In his place, we could see Jordan Allen (assuming Morales plays), Emery Welshman, or even someone like Luke Mulholland.