Michael Bradley will miss Toronto FC’s game on Saturday against the Colorado Rapids due to a minor left quad strain. His absence is just a precaution, and he should be available for next week.
Jermain Defoe is also out of the lineup for the second week in a row with a nagging hamstring injury suffered in a 3-0 loss at Real Salt Lake in March. Bradley has started all four of Toronto’s games in 2014 to this point, even playing 73 minutes on April 5 after going 90 minutes for the U.S. national team three days prior.
“Bradley had a lot of fatigue injuries from all the travel and the games, the U.S. game and obviously the Saturday game,” Toronto head coach Ryan Nelsen told media during the week. “He’s got a couple little strains. We’re just hoping it’ll settle down and be all right by Saturday.”
He scored in that game against the Columbus Crew, just his second MLS tally of his career. The first came during his initial stint in the league, a game-winning goal for the New York/New Jersey MetroStars that clinched a playoff berth on the last day of the 2005 season.
At Toronto so far, Bradley has proven to be the Reds’ most important player, connecting the defense and attack and remaining active on both sides of the ball. His good club form carried over into his appearance with the U.S. against Mexico on April 2, in which he scored a goal before assisting a second in a 2-2 draw.
Despite injury woes early in the season, Toronto (3-1-0) has showcased its depth. Before the match on Saturday, four players were listed as “out” on the official injury report, while a further four were “questionable.”
As a result, Nelsen had to start another second-choice lineup, with Bradley Orr filling in at center back for Doneil Henry, Kyle Bekker and Jeremy Hall in midfield instead of Bradley and Jonathan Osorio and Dwayne De Rosario filling in at forward for Defoe.