Well, we’re here again. We’re talking injuries. We’ve got clarity from RSL coach Pablo Mastroeni on the latest set of injuries for RSL players, and it’s once again coming from an interview on ESPN 700 with Bill Riley.
The long and the short? We have two center backs that are fit, and that’s probably going to be the case through most of April. Let’s break it down.
- Johan Kappelhof suffered a calf strain and will probably miss 3–4 weeks
- Erik Holt tore his plantar fascia and will miss a staggering 3–6 months (and credit to Holt — he’s made himself somebody who will be missed, such has been his improvement in 2022 over 2021)
- Justen Glad suffered what is likely a hamstring strain, and he’s set for a 3–4 week absence
- Aaron Herrera (not a center back, but I guess if you’re playing him in a back three, he has to be) hasn’t been training with the team “in a couple weeks,” so you’ve got to consider him as having a bit of a recovery time
And that’s just from today’s interview.
You can throw three more defenders into the mix:
- Nick Besler, who is still out with a nose injury
- Zack Farnsworth, who almost certainly hasn’t trained with the team since his signing in June 2021
- Bret Halsey, who has a right ankle concern of some sort
- David Ochoa is still out for some lengthy amount of time with a calf injury
Of course, Mastroeni also discussed some recoveries:
- Damir Kreilach is involved in full training, and they’re now working up his fitness
- Rubio Rubin is also involved, and he’s “gaining dynamic movements that he lacked” because he missed the 2022 preseason through injury.
All we can hope for at this point, I guess, is that more players don’t succumb to injury over the next three to four weeks, because it could look very, very grim out there. And while I’m certainly glad we have Jaziel Orozco available to start, I hope he’s ready — a 17-year-old being cast into the fire will inevitably struggle at times, no matter how good they are. (Or, if he’s really that good, maybe we’ll sell him in the summer, and hopefully at that point we have other center backs available.
Anyway, not to get all doom-and-gloom before Mastroeni’s comments, but I do think it’s worth mentioning that Marcelo Silva hasn’t played more than 20 games in a season for Real Salt Lake. In fact, in his entire career, he has just two season above that mark — one at Real Zaragoza and one at Real Valladolid.
Full quotes so you don’t miss any context follow:
Johan, obviously, when the coaches come in from the warmups, and they go, “Johan can’t go, because he’s got a calf strain.” At that point, you’re clutching straws. We made a couple adjustments. But again, I think the mentality of the group has been great through this all.
The kicker was coming in at halftime and Erik Holt tearing his plantar fascia. Now, we needed another sub. Those are some of the things that are occurring, and those are out of our control as far in the immediate timeframe. Now, it’s really about adjusting and the next player stepping up and doing his job to help the team get a result.
I’d love to tell you there’s some light. We’re still going through a tough time. Unfortunately, some of these injuries — Kappelhof will be probably three or four weeks; Holt is a whole different kettle of fish, where you’re talking three to six months; Bobby (Wood), we’re optimistic it’ll be two to three, maybe four, weeks; we’re still trying to get Aaron Herrera back, and he hasn’t trained with the team in a couple of weeks. Justen Glad is still probably three to four weeks out. The bright spot is that Dami is now training with the team full, and so now it’s just about working to a level of fitness where we feel he won’t compromise the injury. Rubio is also gaining dynamic movements that he lacked because he didn’t do a preseason with the team.
So there’s a lot of aspects of it that aren’t optimistic; in the short term, Dami and Rubio are putting smiles on our faces for sure.