First, let us pass around the bottle to everyone who got nervous flashbacks to the season which shall not be named because of the title of this post. But, given the state of D.C. United's injury problems, they may just sail into battle with the infamous Kurt Morsink as the starting defensive midfielder. Out of all of the players returning from injury, only Dejan Jakovic participated fully in practice yesterday; Emiliano Dudar, Nick DeLeon, and Marcelo Saragosa were all limited and did not take part in the mini-games that ended practice.
Obviously, the two bigger injuries are those to Chris Pontius and Perry Kitchen. Pontius has suffered a gluteal muscle injury and was absent from practice; I have not heard anything about a timeline for his return. The team does not believe that Kitchen suffered any ligament damage, which is good, but they do think that they is damage to his meniscus. I would assume that would put him out something similar to the six weeks that Ethan White was out, which is at the very least much better than the 6-9 months a ligament tear would likely entail. It still pains me that Lance Rozeboom got injured in the preseason; this would have been his moment to shine.
So, with all of these injuries, where does this leave United in their midweek match against the Colorado Rapids?
There are two major places where this could change: center back and center midfield. I do not think that we will see Daniel Woolard back in the middle for this game. Dejan Jakovic has been participating fully in practice, as has Ethan White, so I expect one of them to start. If for any reason both of them cannot go, you know the drill: Daniel Woolard into the middle and Chris Korb out wide.
In the center of midfield, the choice is either Kurt Morsink or Stephen King. The Standard is good at many things, especially serving as an outlet and keeping the ball moving, but breaking up play and knowing when to step in is not one of them. On the other hand, we have Kurt Morsink, who is a walking yellow card but also a pitbull on the field. He isn't even the medium term solution, but I would not mind seeing him in this game.
The other possibility of change might be Josh Wolff pairing Maicon Santos instead of Hamdi Salihi. Wolff is a good distributor for a striker, which has led to his somewhat strange stints in midfield, and so I could see him getting the nod especially if Olsen prefers Salihi in that super sub role. As for the subs, I see Joe Willis, Branko Boskovic, Chris Korb, Ethan White, Stephen King, Josh Wolff, and Lewis Neal.
What do you all see this week? Wishing that we had bacta tanks for instant healing?