Red Bulls’ Cahill injures hip while training with Australia

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

The New York Red Bulls are days away from the first leg of their Eastern Conference Final showdown against the New England Revolution.

Will Tim Cahill play a part? That remains to be seen.

The Red Bulls’ Designated Player took a blow to the hip at Australia’s training this past Friday. The injury was serious enough to limit his training on Saturday, and forced him out of Sunday’s practice altogether.

He is now questionable for Tuesday’s friendly against Japan.

“I took a knee into the hip bone and am pretty sore,” Cahill told reporters on Sunday. “I saw out the rest of the training session (on Friday) but after that, there was a little reaction so I rested yesterday and only did some light work and rested today and hopefully be fine for tomorrow.

“If selected then I’ll always make myself available. It’s not normally in training I take knocks but I took a heavy impact injury and I’m just dealing with it so it should be fine.”

The 34-year-old Cahill has not been a key player for the Red Bulls during this run up to the playoffs. However, he is central to the hopes of Australia as they get set to host the Asian Cup this January. Socceroos boss Ange Postecoglou is already dealing with other injuries to his side, including that of Mark Milligan and Terry Antonis. The veteran presence of Cahill has been vital to this camp as Postecoglou vets the next generation of Socceroo stars prior to January’s tournament.

While Cahill’s club contributions have paled in comparison to his talismanic run to the Supporters’ Shield last season, he still represents a valuable bench option, particularly when it comes to aerial duels. Peguy Luyindula has proven the more dynamic distributor in the midfield but Cahill’s presence on set piece scenarios has been sorely missing from the side in key situations.  Even if not in the starting XI, the Australian legend is a valuable piece to lose, particularly against a stout New England defense.  With that said, the severity of the injury remains unknown at this time.