Morales will be out of lineup for weeks
Whitecaps’ oft-injured captain and leading scorer out after hurting groin
The Whitecaps will be without their captain for weeks.
Pedro Morales, who limped off the field just 19 minutes into Saturday’s scoreless tie with the L.A. Galaxy, has a groin injury that was still being assessed on Tuesday.
But Caps coach Carl Robinson did confirm that it’s a matter of weeks, not days, and said he’ll know more once the MRI results are in.
“How many weeks I don’t know,” said Robinson, whose team is 2-2-1 and travels to face D.C. United (02-3) on Saturday afternoon.
Morales, who turns 31 next month, was limited to 15 starts last season due to various leg injuries.
He’d started off well in his third MLS season, leading the team with four goals — all from the penalty spot — setting up another goal, and generally looking like the 2014 Morales, who went on to win MLS newcomer of the year. The concern is that this groin pull is further evidence of a player whose body is breaking down.
Last season, the Caps didn’t lose Morales to injury until the summer. He started just three times after June, then made a desperation start in a do-or-die playoff game.
This season, Morales returned for an extra-long pre-season, and more rest and rehab days were part of his weekly plan.
Robinson wasn’t planning on taking Morales to D.C. anyway. Now, it seems he’ll be without his captain and leading scorer for a while. Manneh back practising: There was some bright news on the injury front Tuesday.
Winger Kekuta Manneh, who had been subbed off injured on Saturday, was back practising at the University of B.C. The right ankle he’d injured in last year’s playoff loss to Portland is still bothering him, but it’s something he says he can play through.
“It’s a good sign that it’s not as bad as first feared (on Saturday),” Robinson said. “It’s a credit to the medical staff as well, in these two days we’ve been off.”
The Caps also had a pair of Canadian midfielders back in training.
Russell Teibert was on the field with his teammates for the first time in weeks. He’d had off-season ankle surgery and then picked up a calf injury during the pre-season.
Kianz Froese returned to practice after going through the league’s concussion protocol following a knock to the head in a Whitecaps FC2 game.
“Both good, very sharp, both wanting to play (this weekend),” said Robinson, who’ll make his de- cisions on the travel roster later in the week.
Midfielder Christian Bolanos missed Tuesday’s practice for treatment on a charley horse. Caps looking at appeal: Carl Robinson left the door open a crack when asked if the club would appeal the red card to Matias Laba, but it doesn’t sound like the Caps will go down that road.
“We’re looking at it,” Robinson said. “If we can we will, and if we don’t think it’s right, we’ll move on.”
MLS clubs post a $25,000 refundable bond with the league office to start the year and are able to appeal two decisions with the MLS disciplinary committee, a.k.a. DisCo.
But it requires unanimous agreement from the five-person panel, and two failed appeals means you don’t get your money back.
Robinson later said: “Mati will be suspended, probably, for this game, so it will open the door for someone else.”
The talk of red cards and MLS’s new harsher standard for tackles was again a hot topic Tuesday.
“I think obviously the league wants to get a little bit more control over the games and I think in their eyes that’s going to be better for this league,” said centre-back Tim Parker.
“But for some of us, we don’t feel the same way.”