Pablo Mastroeni on March 10, 2012
Garrett Ellwood / Colorado Rapids

Pareja cautious with Mastroeni as head symptoms return

Commerce City, Colo. - Rapids captain Pablo Mastroeni missed his second straight practice today as he continues to experience symptoms possibly related to the knock he took to the head in the season opener.

Coach Oscar Pareja made it clear after training that his only thought is for the well being of Mastroeni, and that he and the club are giving the captain whatever time he needs to be fully ready to play.

"We are being very cautious with Pablo with the symptoms he has," Pareja said. "For us, the most important thing is Pablo as a person, and his health. In second place comes Pablo, the player."

Mastroeni came out of the match against Columbus on March 10 after getting hit in the back of the head. As with any head injury, Mastroeni was then required to be put through MLS protocol to determine if he sustained a concussion or not. He passed all the tests and was cleared to return to action. He started and played 68 minutes in the 2-1 win at Philadelphia before being replaced in a tactical move.

Pareja declined to say if Mastroeni, who was experiencing headaches on Wednesday, would be available when the Rapids play the New York Red Bull Sunday at Red Bull Arena (2 pm MT on ESPN).

"He's been resting this week and we will continue to evaluate him daily to see how he is doing," Pareja said. "The most important thing is for him to know that we support him 100 percent."