With the 2021 MLS All-Star game rapidly approaching, and subsequent marketing leaning heavy on the LA Galaxy forward, you'd be forgiven for thinking Chicharito was set to make his return from a calf injury suffered in June. I wouldn't hold my breath too long on that. Speaking to media ahead of Saturday’s match against Minnesota United, head coach Greg Vanney gave updates on Chicharito’s status, while keeping it close to the chest.
“Javier is in his return to play, so we’ll see as he continues to progress, how that progression works and his timeline will be dependent on that,” Vanney said. Not exactly what you’d expect to hear if things were trending towards him making a return before the end of the month. From the sounds of it, he is likely to miss tomorrow’s match against Minnesota. “Coming off of a muscle injury, we wouldn't want him on a plane flying there and flying back. If he's not able to help us on the field he’ll stay and continue his progression” said Vanney when asked if Chicharito would even make the trip with the team to Minnesota.
#CaptainVela // @11carlosV #CaptainChicharito // @CH14_ #CaptainZimmerman // @thewalkerzim #CaptainRoldan // @CristianRoldan— Major League Soccer (@MLS) August 12, 2021
The heavy promotion for the upcoming All-Star game from the MLS would have anyone confused. They seem to be working under the impression that Chicharito will not only be there, but compete in both the Skills Challenge, and the actual All-Star match itself. However, Vanney made it clear that discussions with the league are ongoing, with the player’s health taking priority.
“It’s a discussion, a dialogue [with MLS] on how this will work, but anytime a player is injured, if they’re injured, they don't have to participate or expected to participate in the challenges, or even the game for that matter. If they’re coming off an injury obviously the priority is in that.”
Tomorrow’s match against Minnesota will likely mark the ninth match the LA Galaxy have played without their star forward. With the team near the top of the West, the desire to see him return is understandable. While he seems to have begun the process of returning, don't expect anything to be rushed. For now, the wait continues.
When do you think we will see Javier return? Leave a comment below!