TORONTO - The injury bug seems to have made its home in Toronto.
Fresh off a 2-0 victory Saturday over the Columbus Crew, Toronto FC returned to training at the Kia Training Grounds on Tuesday with plenty of faces missing.
Jermain Defoe, Michael Bradley, Dwayne De Rosario, Alvaro Rey, Doneil Henry and Jonathan Osorio were absent from practice, something head coach Ryan Nelsen addressed to the gathered press.
“We have a few injuries, a few knocks as well,” Nelsen said. “We’re wrapping them up in cotton wool at the moment, and hopefully we can get 11 out for Saturday. [Jermain] is still progressing really well. It’s only Tuesday so there’s a long time to go so hopefully he’ll be close.”
Toronto FC were already without Canadian duo of Henry and Osorio against Columbus, and the two look set to miss out on Saturday’s match against the Colorado Rapids at BMO Field (4 pm ET; MLS Live), as well. Bradley may have to also sit out the next game.
“Doneil, with his knee, is still on the treatment table,” Nelsen said. “Osorio’s the same, [but] he’s progressing really well. Michael Bradley had a lot of fatigue injuries from all the travel and the games, the US game and obviously the Saturday game. He’s got a couple little strains. We’re just hoping it’ll settle down and be all right by Saturday.”
The Columbus encounter furthered Toronto’s injury woes.
De Rosario was helped off the field with a noticeable limp and could be a doubt for Saturday.
“It was a knock, so knocks are a wee bit different compared to a strain,” Nelsen said. “He’s struggling to move around at the moment, but hopefully that will break up and by the weekend he’ll be good.”
Bradley Orr looked to have picked up a knock, too, despite his admirable performance in the back line.
“I got a dead leg after 15 minutes,” Orr told MLSsoccer.com. “It was a real bad knock, and then within five minutes of the second half [a Columbus player] hit me on it again in exactly the same place. It was tough, it was sore but in the end of the day it’s a dead leg, it’s nothing too bad.”
Nelsen said it could be a challenge finding enough healthy players for the weekend’s game.
“You can pretty much just name the healthy guys. It’s a lot quicker,” Nelsen said. “… There’s a chance that quite a few [players] might miss [the Saturday game].”