Djalo Could Miss Up To A Month But Watson ‘Very Confident’ Perez Garcia Will Play For San Jose Earthquakes In Clasico
Yannick Djalo is injured, again.
Following the San Jose Earthquakes training on Wednesday, head coach Mark Watson explained that the attacker, who has dealt with a flood of injuries since joining the club, could be on the sidelines for up to a month.
“It’s a quad strain. We’ve heard from one to four weeks, and they’re still in the evaluation process.”
Djalo sustained the injury in the second half of the Quakes 1-0 win over the Seattle Sounders on Saturday at Levi’s Stadium. The good news is that Djalo remains upbeat following his latest setback.
“He’s very optimistic. He feels he’s improved a lot in the last couple of days.”
The newly-signed Matias Perez Garcia could be the player who steps in for Djalo—assuming all the necessary paperwork has been finalized in time for the game against the LA Galaxy.
“Very confident that will be in place,” Watson said when asked if Perez Garcia will be available on Friday. “Have not heard confirmation. That’s been a difficult situation because of the situation in Argentina with their president.”
The preference had been to play Perez Garcia on the right wing, but now he could take over as the team’s second striker.
“It’s definitely an option. We’re still pretty new for him. He’s still learning the players and kind of getting that last little bit of fitness and sharpness after an offseason and a training camp in Argentina.”
Taking on the Galaxy will be a challenging first test for the 29-year-old.
“It will certainly be a tough game. So, it will be a good initiation for him to our league.”
Whether or not Perez Garcia will play all 90 minutes remains to be seen.
“More so than that, it’s just making sure he’s ready to play. Even if it’s not 90 minutes being smart with him in terms of how we integrate him into the team both tactically and physically because I think he’s pretty close, but we’re still trying to assess whether he’s 90 minutes fit.”
The Quakes and Galaxy kickoff at 7:30om on Friday night at the StubHub Center. The game can be seen on NBC Sports and heard on KLIV 1590.
Note: The Quakes are taking a cautious approach with the rehab of Steven Lenhart, who underwent kne surgery last Friday. Right now, the forward can only take part in “very light work” as he looks to strengthen his knee joint, according to Watson.
“We want him back as quickly as possible, but we want to make sure that we don’t cut any corners and jeopardize the longer term stuff.”by