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Sam Johnson set for extended absence, Onuoha timetable uncertain

The injury bug has bit two of Real Salt Lake’s most important players.

Lucas Muller | RSL Soapbox

Listen. I don’t want to be a downer, so if you’re feeling giddy after tonight’s big — huge — massive win over Philadelphia Union, maybe come back to this article later.

OK, ready?

Sam Johnson is set for a six-to-eight week absence, Mike Petke revealed in his post-match press conference. Petke put it closer to the eight week range.

Likewise, Nedum Onuoha is set for an absence, though the timetable was uncertain, given he must travel to England to renew his visa, which will keep him out of the country for 8 to 10 days. But combine that with an injury, and the timetable blurs, given he needs to come back before they can continue whatever rehab plan is to be had.

So, yeah. It’s not great.

If I’m thinking conservatively, I’d say Sept. 11 against San Jose at home will be when we’ll see Johnson again on the field. He’s probably not going to start, realistically. It’s really unfortunate timing, given we have a glut of games in July and August. We’ll only have six from Sept. 11 forward, save any potential playoff action.

Onuoha, then, will absolutely miss the club’s next match, almost certainly the Leagues Cup match (oh darn) and perhaps the July 27 match at FC Dallas.

What will this mean for the team, you ask? Well, I do think we’ll be OK — not perfect — at striker, with Damir Kreilach in a hybrid role taking the position. Corey Baird can fill in there, too, and if we can continue production from the wings, we should be doing well enough.

At center back, we’re looking very slim, with Justen Glad, Marcelo Silva and Erik Holt the options. This is particularly worrying with Silva’s penchant for weird injuries at weird times.

With the transfer window open, do either of these force Real Salt Lake’s hand? I don’t think so, but weirder things have happened.