Koffie progressing as he recovers from injury: “He’s itching to get back out there”

Gershon Koffie vs. Orlando City SC

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – While the extended MLS hiatus during the group stage of Copa America Centenario has been brutal for fans eager for action, it’s been a beneficial break for some key members of the New England Revolution.

With 14 games played the Revs are approaching the midway point of the 2016 campaign, and it’s about that time when the grind of a long season begins to take its toll. That’s why a lighter schedule has been critical for those players looking to shake off minor injuries ahead of the rest of the season.

“We don’t want to lose fitness, but we want to make sure our training sessions are a little bit shorter,” said head coach Jay Heaps. “There’s not as much contact in our training sessions (during the break).

“So the fitness and the sharpness are staying there, but the bumps and the bruises or any little injuries that the guys may have, we want to make sure they’re dealing with it.”

The break came at a particularly good time for Gershon Koffie, who suffered a right knee sprain against FC Dallas on May 21 and missed the Revolution’s win over Seattle Sounders FC on May 28. Koffie has been a mainstay in the Revs’ lineup this year, missing just one other game through suspension.

New England have taken a cautious approach with Koffie’s recovery, aided in part by the break. The 24-year-old midfielder hasn’t yet returned to training, but Heaps believes Koffie will take that next step in his recovery early next week, before the Revs head to North Carolina to begin their U.S. Open Cup campaign against the Carolina RailHawks on Wednesday night.

“Gershon’s such a tough kid. He’d like to be out there now,” Heaps said. “But we’re being smart with him. He’s itching to get back out there, but I think next week we’ll start to see a little bit more.

“With [this week] being a short week for us and giving the guys another weekend off, we’re going to keep Gershon out until early next week and see where he is.”