COMMERCE CITY, Colo.- The Boss sure acted like one on Saturday night.
Rapids midfielder Hendry Thomas’ nickname, ‘El Patron’, means ‘The Boss’ in Spanish, but the boss of Colorado’s midfield went down in a heap of pain late in the second half of the Rapids’ 2-0 victory over the Whitecaps on Saturday night at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
The Honduran was back on the field for the first time since July 27, having missed the two matches prior to Saturday while serving a suspension. With the Rapids leading the Whitecaps 2-0 in the 84', Thomas slid to win a ball from Whitecaps midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker, but immediately grabbed his left hamstring as he rolled on the ground.
The problem was, the Rapids had already used all three of their substitutions, so Thomas felt he had to withstand the pain so his team could finish with 11 men.
“My [hamstring] was acting up, but it was important that I could finish," Thomas said after the match. "Like I always say, with the confidence the coaching and training staff gives me and my teammates as well, the least I can do is finish a game. If I can finish a game playing with one leg, I’ll do it and give my all.”
Thomas has battled nagging hamstring pain dating back to late April, when he suffered a left hamstring strain at Houston that kept him out of four matches.
But his presence on the field is invaluable to the Rapids. On Saturday, the holding midfielder was involed in 112 plays, more than any other on either team. He was credited with 57 completed passes and 13 passes intercepted or recovered.
“He’s having some issue with his hamstring, but with Hendry you have to get a couple of cops to get him off the field,” Rapids head coach Oscar Pareja said of Thomas on Saturday. ‘It’s difficult because that’s his personality, but it seems like he did well with it. He’s not hurt, but (hamstring) was tight, and I was glad to keep him in the field at that point.”
Perhaps no player on the Rapids’ roster will enjoy the team’s two-week break more than the feisty 28-year-old, who received treatment on the hamstring postgame on Saturday night. But even with a few extra days to rest, Thomas wants to be on the practice field this week.
“It’s already calmed down with the work I did with ice,” Thomas said on Saturday. “Now, it’s time to recover in the coming days and continue forward.”
Chris Bianchi covers the Colorado Rapids for MLSsoccer.com.