MONTREAL – Guess who’s back again?
Alessandro Nesta’s latest injury woes are over, and the Italian center back will be available for selection this Saturday against the Philadelphia Union (7 pm ET, watch FREE on MLS Stream of the Week). Nesta’s start to 2013 alongside Matteo Ferrari looked promising indeed, but he has since pulled up lame on two occasions, against Toronto FC on March 16 and then against the Chicago Fire on April 27.
But Nesta's groin strain is apparently no more, at least if some of the scorchers he blasted past goalkeepers this week in training are any indication.
“He’s in a good mood, that’s already something,” head coach Marco Schällibaum said of Nesta on Thursday. “It’s nice to see that, at 37, he looked like a kid when he re-joined the group. He’s dying to play. With his experience and quality, he’s a great asset for us.”
Nesta’s teammates were as elated as Schällibaum that he has recovered. But as Marco Di Vaio emphasized, the recent sequence of games has been a tribute to the team’s depth.
“We’re happy with what we’ve done over the past games,” Di Vaio said. “We’ve shown that every player can do well for the team. We’ve won without Nesta, we’ve won without me, without all the Italians. We have a good team and we work every day to be ready to win every game. This is a good team and we need everyone.”
There is thus a chance that the back four that conquered Cascadia in March could be reunited, but the team’s depth could still be tested again.
Despite his spectacularly broken nose, Jeb Brovsky’s progress throughout the week makes it likely that he will get the nod on Saturday, but Schällibaum could yet be tempted by a cautious approach in his case. Hassoun Camara, meanwhile, left training early on Thursday with a thigh knock. The Frenchman feels ready for Saturday, but again, caution may guide the decision.
“It’s a little scare that didn’t prevent me from playing,” Camara told the media on Friday. “We know that we have a number of important games coming on Wednesday and Saturday. Shall I do everything I can to play tomorrow and risk missing games later? That’s what will guide our move. That’s what we’ll decide tomorrow with the coach.”