WHIPPNY, NJ ( Associated Press) — American defender Aaron Long’s calf injury appears to be relatively minor, according to New York Red Bull coach Gerhard Strauber.
The 29-year-old centre-back suffered a calf stiffness in a US Open Cup round-of-32 match in a 3-0 win over DC United on Tuesday night. It is unclear whether Long will be available for Saturday’s Major League Soccer match in Philadelphia.
“The scan was clean yesterday,” Strauber said Thursday. “We’ll see how he’s feeling and then we see day in and day out. I don’t know yet if he’s available for Saturday, but we’re very happy at the moment. We don’t see anything in the scan and also, today and my first communication with the physical team was in a very optimistic direction.
Long tore his right Achilles tendon last May 15 while playing for Red Bulls and did not return until his club’s 2022 season opener on February 26.
He has made 23 appearances for the United States, making a late entry in the second half of the World Cup qualifiers in Mexico on 24 March and returning against Panama three days later.
Miles Robinson, America’s highest performing center defender in qualifying, tore his left Achilles tendon while playing for Atlanta last Saturday and will likely miss the World Cup.
Long is expected to compete for a World Cup roster spot in the center back pool that includes Walker Zimmerman, Chris Richards, John Brooks, Mark Mackenzie, Tim Ream, Eric Palmer-Brown and Cameron Carter-Vickers.
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