After reporting about Thierry Henry’s nagging injuries to start the season, I can understand how the supporters felt when they envisioned a world class player joining up with the future of the club in Juan Agudelo and now adding a distributor like Dwayne DeRosario.
You believe that it should be total destruction from the first match all the way to the end, but for the last seven years Henry has lived with this chronic Achilles pain towards the end of his Arsenal career, into his tenure with F.C. Barcelona and now with the New York Red Bulls.
“He looked sharp today (at training April 14th)” said Head Coach Hans Backe. “Lively, explosive, could take his runs in behind which is his game. He can play on Saturday (against San Jose). It’s a daily thing. You will always have, but if the pain is not so much then he can play.” At the moment the Achilles problem for Henry will not need surgery nor will it get a cortisone shot of any kind. If it needs rest then so be it, but as of right now Henry can manage the pain.
Of course the only person who is tired of talking about this problem is Thierry Henry. You can tell he wanted to end the discussion about his current chronic Achilles problem, even though he did look very good at training. “I’ve been dealing with this Achilles injury for seven years now.” said Henry, “It started with Arsenal in 2004, there are days when I can’t handle the pain but I try to perform. Sometimes I feel a bit free or better, but I will be available for the game against San Jose.”
I attended Red Bulls training and he did look better on the practice field. Not once did he show an signs of limping or any facial expressions of pain. But of course the most important thing for him right now is that he is ready to go for the club against the San Jose Earthquakes and he knows that high percentage of possession is not going to help the club win games unless they convert their chances.
“I think we have to be sensible in what we do” said Sporting Director Erik Soler, “We have a good medical staff, sensible coaches and Thierry is a very smart guy himself. I’m comfortable that they can figure it out.” Soler also chimed in on being an expert of this problem. “I’ve had four Achilles operations myself and it really slows you down.” At the moment it seems that the Red Bulls knew what was coming when Henry came over last summer. Just try to manage this distraction as much as possible and give Henry the necessary treatment that the tendon needs so he can be ready for the next league match.