It’s bad enough that it already feels as if the entire Real Salt Lake team is on the shelf with injuries, just days before its season opener against the defending champion Los Angeles Galaxy at the Home Depot Center on Saturday.
But it could be getting worse.
Central defender Jamison Olave is uncertain for the opener — who’s not at this point, right? — after leaving the team’s final preseason game last weekend in Arizona with a groin injury. Olave is expected to try training with the team on its new practice field south of Rio Tinto Stadium on Tuesday, team officials said, to see how he feels and determine whether he’ll be able to start the season on time.
If not, RSL might have to employ a makeshift back line against the powerful Galaxy, with central defender Nat Borchers still working his way back from offseason knee surgery (he could miss the first several games) and outside back Chris Wingert recovering from a savage cut above his eye suffered in the last preseason game.
At least central defender Chris Schuler has been outstanding in camp, team officials said.
Injured, it seems.
Forward Alvaro Saborio and midfielder Javier Morales played as substitutes in the preseason finale, but aren’t quite ready to return to the starting lineup after offseason surgeries, while midfielder Will Johnson just had surgery in Germany to repair a sports hernia. He will be out a couple of weeks.
None of that is great news for a team that lost several key reserves during the offseason, and will have to rely on a passel of young or new players to fill in when injuries and absences strike.
On the bright side for RSL, the Galaxy might be fielding a lesser side when the teams meet on Saturday.
That’s because like RSL last season, the Galaxy are in the knockout stages of the CONCACAF Champions League and play Toronto FC on the road on Wednesday night. The teams meet at the Home Depot Center the following week, as well, suggesting the Galaxy might hold some of the big guns — and there are plenty of them — out of the league opener against RSL.
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