Now that I've finally spoken to Fire Head Coach Denis Hamlett, I can provide you guys with a couple of updates regarding the Fire's injury situation and give some reaction to the 0-0 draw with New England this past Saturday. Here we go...
**Wilman Conde - Game day decision**
Conde, who missed last Saturday's game at the New England Revolution with a hamstring injury, has yet to train this week.
"He's been sick with flu-like symptoms," Hamlett said." "He's had a little bit of a hamstring issue and for the last two days he's been sick with that so hopefully tomorrow he can be a little bit better."
If Conde, who has been a stalwart at center back all season for the Fire, isn't able to recover in time for tomorrow night's game you can expect Dasan Robinson to get the start in his place.
**Gonzalo Segares - Out**
Though Segares is listed as questionable on the Fire's injury report, Hamlett told me that the Costa Rican left back won't be quite ready to play in Thursday night's match against Chivas USA.
"He's been training. He started this week as a neutral and in the last couple training sessions he's been able to go full go but with caution," Hamlett said of Segares, who hasn't played since spraining his left MCL on August 9th. "But I think tomorrow will be a little too early [for Segares to return]."
Hamlett told me that it looks like Segares will be ready to go next week - good news for the Fire if they take care of business Thursday night and secure their spot in the playoffs.
**John Thorrington - Out**
Thorrington, who hasn't played since August 19th due to a groin injury, participated in training this week but won't be ready to go in time for tomorrow night's match.
A central midfielder, Thorrington started the week out as a neutral but was able to progress into full-training as the days wore on. Despite his return to the practice field, Hamlett wasn't sure if Thorrington will be ready to go in time for the playoffs (should the Fire get there of course...).
**Tim Ward - Out**
The Fire's regular right back, Ward has been out since August 5th with a broken left metatarsal. Ward rejoined the entire Fire team on the training field for the first time since picking up his injury this week, though he only participated as a neutral.
As is the situation for Thorrington, Hamlett wasn't sure if Ward will be ready to go by the time the playoffs start next week. However, Hamlett did say that the 22-year-old Wisconsin native "is making progress," so that's good news.
**Hamlett's thoughts on the New England game -**
On the Fire's overall performance:
"I think that defensively we were very good. We created some good chances but we just didn't finish them. I actually thought that there was a lot of soccer that was played on both parts [of the field]. Both teams wanted the points and at the end of the day we defended well in the box but we didn't do well in the final third. All in all we're happy with the point because that puts us in a good spot knowing now that tomorrow night three points or a point gets us second place [in the Eastern Conference] locked up."
On the Fire's slow start to the match:
"It was their last home game of the season and the onus was on them to come out and attack and put pressure on the visiting team and that's what they did. We weathered that storm and I think after that we got into the groove of the game and then it became a game that was controlled by both teams. I think after the first 15-20 minutes we started to create some chances, get some god looks and theaten them."
On the referee not calling a penalty kick on New England keeper Matt Reis after he took Chris Rolfe down:
"Disappointed. During the game I thought it was a PK. When I watched the highlights I thought it was a PK. [It looked like it was] a red card and a PK but we move on."