Sprained shoulder leaves Vicente Sanchez a question mark for Sunday
With the playoffs just about secured, the Rapids' focus in Sunday's return game at Vancouver will be about securing a home playoff game. In order to do that, they'll need to defeat the Whitecaps in the regular season finale (6 p.m. MT, Altitude 2).
The tricky thing is, the playoff game could come as early as next Wednesday, leaving coach Oscar Pareja decisions to make with a roster that includes a few question marks.
"We want to evaluate a couple of cases that we are worried about that may require a little rest," Pareja told reporters Tuesday. "But other than that we're going to fight for the three points with the best players we can."
One of the concerns is attacking midfielder Vicente Sanchez, who suffered a sprained right shoulder last week against Vancouver. He was favoring his arms for much of the game before eventually coming off in the 80th minute.
"I think it was Nick (LaBrocca) who sent in a cross and I was running - looking at the ball - when I felt a hit on my back," Sanchez told ColoradoRapids.com. "We both fell - I don't know if it was the hit from the player or hitting the ground. (But) when I got up I was already in pain.
"It was a lot of pain. Shoulder injuries can be complicated - it hurt a lot. I played some in the second half but then the pain was too much."
Pareja hinted that Sanchez may be rested should his condition not improve.
"Vicente still has pain in his arm, but he's shown a lot of progress today, Pareja said. "We still have half of the week. It did (affect him). He played more than 70 minutes with that disturbing his arm, and his movement was not normal, but when he got the ball he was normal. It was his braveness that helped."
Sanchez wouldn't speculate on his availability for the final game.
"I'm taking medicine, trying to train with the team but the pain is still there," he said. "We'll wait in these coming days if the pain goes away."