Injury woes to the Philadelphia Union striking corps continue to be an issue heading into the final stretch of the season.
Sergio Santos returned from injury to earn his first minutes in three games against Toronto FC and scored the equalizer in the 2-2 draw but also injured his “other quad” according to Union head coach Jim Curtin.
“Unrelated to the last injury,” Curtin said. “He had an MRI and it comes back similar to the other quad he tore so he most likely will miss the weekend.”
Santos dressed but didn’t play against Nashville after missing the team’s two previous games with an injury his other quad. He’s missed six games this season.
“I don’t know how long or how serious it is, but it’s kind of the same difficult story every time we get him going we lose him so it’s difficult,” Curtin said. “But injuries are part of the game.”
Curtin does hope to have Cory Burke available for Sunday’s match against FC Cincinnati after returning to full training this week. The Jamaican international last played Sept. 19 against Orlando City and has just 17 appearances on the season.
Thin on strikers, Curtin has gone with the Christmas tree formation with Kacper Przybylko as the lone striker the last three matches. Przybylko has played the full 90 minutes in each of the last seven games.
Curtin hasn’t turned much to his depth at the position even with the injuries. Matheus Davo still has played just once in an 18-minute appearance in early September and Anthony Fontana has played a total of 4 minutes in the last seven matches.
Younger homegrowns have seen minutes a little harder to come by as well, but Curtin said that has mostly be a matter of circumstance instead of form. Quinn Sullivan hasn’t played in three games, Paxten Aaronson has logged 35 minutes in the last three matches and Jack McGlynn has logged 34 minutes over the past three games.
“They’re doing great between Quinn, Jack McGlynn, Paxten, the years that they’re having,” Curtin said of his young attacking trio. “They’ve done an incredible job in their development. They’ve taken a big step forward.”
With only two regular season games left, the question remains of whether Ilsinho will get a proper send-off. The 36-year-old alluded to this being his last season when he re-signed last year but he’s been limited to 5 appearances and 78 minutes because of injury. He did train partially with the team on Friday.
“I want him to push as hard as possible to help this team whether it’s at the very end of the season and maybe in New York City or maybe in the playoffs,” Curtin said. “There’s still a three-week window if we do qualify for the playoffs for him to return. I want it to end with with him on the field, that’s the easiest way to put it.”