Colorado Rapids injury updates: Many players getting close

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KANSAS CITY, KS - MAY 05: Colorado Rapids forward Yannick Boli tries to center the ball in the second half of an MLS match between the Colorado Rapids and Sporting Kansas City on May 5, 2018 at Children's Mercy Park in Kansas City, KS. Sporting KC won 1-0. (Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (May 8, 2018) – The Colorado Rapids are still dealing with a number of injuries and players getting fit. The team has struggled, having lost three straight, but is optimistic that they will turn it around with healthy bodies coming back.

Colorado Rapids injury updates: Many players getting close

For those of you who missed the various updates from last week, Kortne Ford and Marlon Hairston have been making progress on their rehabs but weren’t close last week. Johan Blomberg was dealing with a knock from a recent game against FC Dallas.

Bismark Nana Boateng was under concussion protocol and Shkelzen Gashi was dealing with a groin issue. Both of those injuries happened against Orlando City SC. Lastly, Yannick Boli and Stefan Aigner were still working their way into the team. Aigner, in particular, was working on his relationship and communication with Head Coach Anthony Hudson.

Good news:

The Rapids are looking to have both Gashi and Boateng back in the team by the end of the week hopefully.

“Nana is just coming out of [concussion protocol] now. Fingers crossed, he’ll be available for Saturday,” Coach Hudson told Last Word on Soccer after training on Tuesday, adding “today was [Gashi’s] first session back. He did partial training. Thursday I imagine he’ll be in full training.”

Boateng has mostly done training away from the team this week, doing individual fitness drills alongside Kortne Ford. He also did some low-intensity header drills, which means he’s progressed through the league’s concussion protocol. Gashi participated in team scrimmages on Tuesday. Both exited training a little early.

Right now, I’d list both of them as questionable for Saturday’s match against the New York Red Bulls. By Friday, the coaching staff will probably know whether or not they’ll be available for selection.

On their way but still in doubt:

Blomberg, Ford, and Hairston were all in training on Tuesday. Hairston did agility and some ball work on his own with one of the trainers. As mentioned above, Ford worked on movement drills with Boateng. Blomberg was limited to just doing running around the practice field. None of them participated in team scrimmages.

“Both Marlon and Kortne are around the same date. We’re hoping within a couple of weeks they’ll both be ready for training,” Hudson said.

Hudson categorized Blomberg as “day-to-day,” which is the same as last week. He did add that Blomberg is “not far” away.

Ford and Hairston are most definitely out for Saturday but they could be with the team early next week. Blomberg’s probably questionable for Saturday. Similar to Gashi and Boateng, he’ll probably be reevaluated later in the week.

The forwards:

No Colorado Rapids injury/fitness update is complete these days without discussing Yannick Boli and Stefan Aigner.

As I wrote a few weeks ago, Aigner is working on his performance in training and his relationship with Hudson. Aigner was in team training briefly on Tuesday but left to do some gym work on his own.

“We are talking a lot on what he needs to do. We’re waiting for him to do it. He knows what he needs to do,” Hudson said. Aigner clearly still has some work to do physically and personally to get into the team sheet.

On the other side, Boli’s progress isn’t where the club would have liked it.

“Yannick [Boli] is still miles off it physically. He actually needed a preseason. I thought he was making a lot of progress, but he still needs a lot more work,” said Hudson. “Yannick [Boli] is still miles off it physically. He actually needed a preseason. I thought he was making a lot of progress, but he still needs a lot more work.”

Hudson has emphasized since preseason that the team is undergoing significant changes. The fruit of that labor needs time to ripen. He and the squad are trusting the process and making strides every day.

“We’re still not in a position where all our strikers are physically fit and available to start.”

In many ways, the striker situation is a microcosm of the season and the current state of the squad for the Colorado Rapids. They’re still getting healthy, getting to know each other, and find their form together.

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