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Prognosis uncertain for injured Real Salt Lake players

Published April 5, 2012 9:34 am

RSL notes • Broken ribs, bad hamstring will shuffle the lineup.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Sandy • Coach Jason Kreis said he did not know how long midfielders Javier Morales and Ned Grabavoy might be out after they suffered injuries in Real Salt Lake's lackluster 1-0 victory over the Montreal Impact at Rio Tinto Stadium on Wednesday night.

Morales hurt his right hamstring, while Grabavoy apparently broke his ribs.

Kreis was out of substitutions by the time both injuries occurred, so RSL had to survive the final nervous minutes "down, basically, a man-and-a-half."

The coach acknowledged that the injuries will change his plans for his team's home game against rival Colorado on Saturday. He had planned to start both Morales and Grabavoy but now must figure out an alternative.

A team spokesman said Grabavoy was taken to a hospital after the game for tests, and Morales was not seen in the locker room after the game. It was almost a year ago that Morales suffered a devastating ankle injury that cost him most of the season.

Tough task

The Impact became the eighth expansion team that failed to win in its first visit to RSL.

The previous eight expansion teams were a combined 1-6-1 in their first trip to Utah, with Toronto FC the only winner back in 2007. The Portland Timbers managed a draw last season, but the losing expansion teams have been outscored 15-2 by RSL.

At last, a start

Defender Terakazu Tanaka made his first start for RSL, nearly three weeks after losing the opportunity due to illness. He was among three players making his first start of the season, with midfielders Will Johnson and Jonny Steele also getting the call.

A 26-year-old outside back who joined RSL from Japan, Tanaka was in position to start the home opener against New York in place of injured Tony Beltran on March 17, until he became sick and couldn't play in a 2-0 victory.

Kreis said Tanaka was "decent," and Tanaka acknowledged a couple of mistakes that he expects to correct the more he plays.