When Craig Waibel said on Thursday that RSL’s injury concerns were easing, he apparently wasn’t kidding.
Demar Phillips, who started in RSL’s first five games, took to injury in the 13th minute of the fifth game of the season, and he hasn’t played a single minute since.
But today, he posted on Instagram, saying he was back — now, what exactly that means for Real Salt Lake tonight is very much up for debate, but it’s something at least that we can take as a positive in RSL’s late-season playoff push.
It’s hard to say whether Phillips’ having posted today means that he’ll make an appearance or even be on the bench, but it does give some credence to that thought. We’ll learn more in a few short hours, of course, but smart money would have him in a Real Monarchs shirt tonight.
Since Phillips’ injury absence, RSL has seen a rotating cast of left backs in starting lineups. That includes Pablo Ruiz, who remains very much a midfielder in most estimations; Danilo Acosta, who seemed the heir apparent in the position but has been in and out of the team; and Aaron Herrera, who has more recently been impressing there despite being primarily a right-sided player.
RSL Injury Report— Lucas Muller (@lucaswmuller) August 10, 2018
Beltran (knee 10/15/17)
Allen (knee 6/16/17)
Horwath (achilles 4/18)
Mulholland (back 5/2)
Lopez-Espin (knee 6/13)
Horst (achilles 6/26)
Sparrow (knee 7/2)
The one change from last week is that Luis Silva comes off the injury list entirely.
The big question remaining is what that means exactly for Real Salt Lake. Will Phillips return to action immediately, or will he take some ramp-up time to make it back into the team? Will Danilo Acosta remain behind Phillips, as he was at the start of the season? At this point, we have more questions than answers.
Undoubtedly, though, injury recovers spell good things for RSL. Tony Beltran seems to be making good progress, Luis Silva is just a week or two off, Henley is getting Monarchs minutes, Mulholland is now at least jogging, and Phillips is presently inching closer to his RSL return. It’s all coming at a vital time of the season.