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Portland Timbers dealing with early injuries

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MLS: Columbus Crew at Portland Timbers Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

The biggest injury concern the Timbers are dealing with at the moment is center back Liam Ridgewell. Ridgewell is dealing with a hamstring suffered in training and will be out 4-6 weeks according to team manager Caleb Porter.

The absence of the skipper Ridgewell leaves big boots to fill in the back line and also in team leadership. Jermaine Taylor, January signee and Jamaican international is the best candidate to fill the spot in Ridgewell's absence. Taylor is a regular starter for the Reggae Boyz and an MLS veteran, making 106 appearances for Houston Dynamo over four seasons.

Ridgewell's leadership duties will have to be shared by the other veterans on the team. Nat Borchers will take a step up to deal with defensive communication, but who Porter will give the armband to for the match against RSL remains to be seen.

Other Timbers injuries include left backs Chris Klute and Andy Thoma. Thoma is out for six weeks with a knee injury, and Klute is recovering from meniscus surgery. Zarek Valentin has played a game this season at left back and will get the start until further notice.

With Portland's injury troubles on the defensive end, it will be interesting to see how they match up against in-form Plata and the rest of the RSL attack.