Agudelo still on the mend
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – New England coach Jay Heaps looked down his bench during the second half of the Revolution's 3-2 defeat to Chicago on Saturday and turned to Juan Agudelo to make a difference.
Agudelo entered the game as a potential doubt after missing the 4-2 defeat to Montréal on Sept. 8 with a right hamstring strain, but he shook off those concerns to feature for the final 19 minutes against the Fire. Heaps said he inserted to the recovering striker to bolster his side's efforts to leave Toyota Park with a result.
“I was hoping we didn't have to use him at all, to be honest with you,” Heaps told MLSsoccer.com.
The nature of Agudelo's injury – the sort of strain capable of lingering or relapsing if treated wantonly – requires a bit of patience to ensure the influential forward returns to full health and sidesteps any potential setbacks along the way. Heaps said he followed the directives of the Revolution medical team and used Agudelo judiciously.
“With Juan, he's so close to being fully fit, but, at the same time, you have to manage the minutes the right way,” Heaps said. “You don't want to overuse him coming back from an injury, but we felt he gave us the best chance at the time.”
Agudelo rested his knock during Wednesday's training session, but Heaps confirmed Agudelo remains day-to-day in terms of his output and his status for D.C. United's visit on Saturday night.
“This week, we're going to be very similar with him in terms of our progression with him,” Heaps said. “Every day, we're going to sit down with the training staff and see where he is.”