OBETZ, Ohio – Injuries have literally brought the Columbus Crew to their knees.
Three players are suffering through leg ailments, with the most serious being midfielder Robbie Rogers, who will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Friday and will miss at least four weeks.
There is a cyst and loose cartilage from a previous procedure, but Rogers is not sure what the doctors will find this time.
“It’s been getting worse and worse,” Rogers said. “I’ve had it for six months now. I tried to train last week and it was to the point I couldn’t even cut. If I can’t cut, I can’t [hold off on surgery].”
Rogers said he first felt a problem during the US training camp in January, but that it got worse after the tryout sessions for the World Cup squad in May. He has one goal in 16 games this season and realized his contribution had declined.
“I guess if I was injected with pain killers the rest of the season maybe I could finish," he said. "But if I’m not 100 percent, I’m not going to help the team. It takes away your confidence.”
Defender Chad Marshall was also considering surgery after Thursday’s win at Philadelphia, but four days off have somewhat eased the pain in his right knee. However, he did receive an injection Tuesday to reduce the swelling.
Marshall is expected to play Saturday at Real Salt Lake and gut through the rest of the season if possible.
“Maybe in the offseason he’ll have something done, but they didn’t find anything now,” Crew boss Robert Warzycha said.
Marshall, the two-time defending MLS Defender of the Year, was called up to join the US in their friendly against Brazil. However, he opted out of Tuesday’s match.
Another defender, Gino Padula, took a shot as well last Tuesday for inflammation in his left knee. He has missed the past two games but may be available Saturday.
Meanwhile, forward Jason Garey trained Tuesday following a harrowing experience at Philadelphia.
A national television audience saw him spend much of his time on the field hunched over with stomach pains before he left in the 27th minute for Steven Lenhart, who scored twice.
Doctors aren’t sure if Garey contracted food poisoning (no one else with the club got sick) or a virus, but it put him in the hospital and caused him to take a later flight home than the team Friday.
“I felt pretty horrible before the game but thought I could throw up and get it out of my system,” Garey said. “I couldn’t throw up, got out there and felt horrible. My stomach was in a huge knot. I couldn’t really run, couldn’t breathe very well.
“After the first few minutes of the game it kept making me double over,” he added. “I tried to push it as long as I could.”
His problems got worse once he left the PPL Park. He repeatedly vomited in the locker room to the point he was dehydrated and an ambulance was summoned.
“They thought it was something with my appendix so they took me to the hospital and I stayed overnight,” he said. “They had me on IVs all night and did some blood tests. Everything came back normal.”
There was also good news on several other fronts. Midfielder Adam Moffat (hamstring) resumed training after sitting the Philly match and midfielder Eddie Gaven is close to returning.
Gaven suffered a concussion and neck soreness after a violent collision into the knee of Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy on July 31. He will miss his second straight match Saturday but could be ready for Columbus' CONCACAF Champions League opener on Aug. 18 vs. Municipal of Guatemala.