Despite missing the last two games with a hamstring injury, Fire forward Cuauhtemoc Blanco could very well return to the field this Saturday night, when he and the rest of the Mexican National Team face off against El Salvador in an all-important World Cup Qualifier.
Blanco, who injured his hamstring in the second half of the Fire's 2-2 draw with the Columbus Crew on September 20th, is no doubt looking to return to action this weekend - a prospect that makes some Fire personnel apprehensive.
"Obviously whenever your players go away [on international duty] you want them to do well and come back healthy," said Fire Head Coach Denis Hamlett. "You don't want them coming back banged up but that's the catch with international play, the stakes are high. You just hope that they comeback healthy and that when guys go in there with a nick that they have a good enough relationship with the national team coach to let them know where they are physically." What are the actual chances that Blanco plays this weekend? Well, according to Coach Hamlett, it's all still up in the air.
"I spoke to him on Monday and he still felt [the injury]," said Hamlett. "He told me they were going to take another picture of [the hamstring on Wednesday]... but we felt it was going to take some time. [We hope Mexico] continues to work with him as far as getting treatments and then seeing how his body responds."
Should Blanco see the field Saturday night, don't expect him to get a full 90 minutes. 'Temo rarely plays the entire game for Mexico when fully healthy, so we shouldn't expect more than that considering he's banged up.
Personally, I'll be rooting for 'Temo to get in the game and survive unscathed. If he can make a solid contribution on the match all the better - as it would certainly be nice to see him return to Toyota Park in top form. That said, it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world to see Blanco sit this one out. At the very least it would save Fire fans and staff alike from some very unnecessary Saturday night stress...