Shalrie Joseph, New England Revolution
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Joseph in fitness race for Revs home opener

During the course of his career in New England, Shalrie Joseph has developed a reputation for playing through pain. 

Any time the Revolution midfield stalwart picked up a niggling injury that may have sidelined another player, he worked through the discomfort and played anyways. 

Joseph's ability to persevere only makes his current battle with a right hip flexor strain all the more aggravating. The 31-year-old midfielder missed the Revolution's first two games of the season with the knock and said he wasn't pleased to settle into his role as a spectator as his team started the campaign. 

“I've played all of these years with injuries, so not being able to play in the season opener definitely hurt a little bit,” Joseph told on Thursday. “I'm used to being out there and encouraging them every day for practice and for the games. I feel like I've let them down.” 

Unlike many of the injuries Joseph has overcome, this particular one requires rest and rehabilitation instead of determination and grittiness. After picking up the injury during a training session on March 19 while the Revs were wrapping up a preseason trip to North Carolina, Joseph said he had to sit and watch his teammates train and play as he recuperated.

“I couldn't even run,” Joseph said. “It was that painful and sore that I couldn't run for a good ten days. It's just been the last four or five days when I've been able to get back to running and training. The last couple of days, I've been able to at least pass the ball 10 yards. It's progress every day, you could say.”

As he continued along his path to recovery, Joseph participated in a full training session on Thursday as his teammates prepared for Toronto FC's visit on Saturday night. The 2009 MLS MVP finalist said he hopes his progress reaches the point where he can make up for his absence by featuring against the Reds. 

“This Saturday, I want to be there for [my teammates], especially for our home opener,” Joseph said.