Whitecaps Centre Back Situation Hangs in the Balance

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Vancouver have lost Brad Rusin to injury but regained Andy O’Brien in time for Saturday’s big game against San Jose.

Vancouver Whitecaps have lost yet another centre-back to injury, and it’s not looking good.

Brad Rusin’s ankle gave way after taking the full weight of Portland Timbers’ Diego Valeri during their match last Saturday. An MRI scan to be conducted at some point on Tuesday will confirm the severity of the injury – but even the Caps themselves admit that Rusin’s return may be later rather than sooner.

“It looks huge,” Whitecaps head coach Martin Rennie said of Rusin’s ankle in an interview with The Province.

“It doesn’t look too good, but I’m not the expert on that, so rather than speculate we’ll just wait until we find out the full extent.”

There is good news for Vancouver fans though, as centre-back Andy O’Brien has been cleared to play in saturday’s clash against San Jose Earthquakes. After participating in a full training session and emerging painless, O’Brien is confident of being ready for selection at the weekend.

“It’s good to be back with the lads and I’ve had no issues whatsoever,” said O’Brien, “I’m not holding back now. All the pain’s gone and I’m not restricted in any way.”

US defensive stalwart Jay DeMerit remains unavailable and Jun Marques Davidson is suspended for one more match, but fans should be feeling positive after yet another strong performance from centre-back partnership Carlyle Mitchell and Johnny Leveron. The two only allowed one goals against a strong Timbers side, which helped the under-strength Whitecaps earn a decent point.

Vancouver have done well to stay in the playoff picture and are currently just three points ahead of the eighth placed San Jose Earthquakes in an incredibly close Western Conference. A win on Saturday would give them some much needed breathing space, and even put them within a possible two points of the top spot.

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