COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – Colorado Rapids captain Pablo Mastroeni, initially out for six weeks with concussion-like symptoms, doesn’t appear to be close to coming back for the team, and no timetable has been set for the 35-year-old’s return.
Mastroeni began to feel post-concussion symptoms following a 2-1 win in Philadelphia on March 18, their second game – and win – of the regular season. Since then, Mastroeni has been out indefinitely, and indications from the coaching and training staff are that Mastroeni’s potential return is nowhere in sight.
“We’re waiting for his symptoms to clear up, because right now we’re just trying to get his symptoms better,” Rapids head coach Oscar Pareja told MLSsoccer.com on Friday. “There’s nothing we can do.”
Mastroeni told MLSsoccer.com on April 1 that he was having difficulty sleeping and was experiencing headaches, leading him to consult former MLS star and noted concussion activist Taylor Twellman about his symptoms. Rapids head trainer Jamie Rojas remains in touch with Mastroeni once or twice a week during the midfielder’s absence.
“[Pablo] says he still feels a little bit off, so that’s what we have to deal with,” Rojas told MLSsoccer.com. “I don’t want to bother him too much. It’s all about letting him get to his happy place with his head injury. When he tells me his symptoms are pretty cleared up and he feels comfortable, then that’s when we get back to following the league’s protocol on post-concussion-type stuff.”
Despite the continuing uncertainty, the Rapids are holding out hope that their midfield anchor of the past decade can return at some point this season. Mastroeni’s long-term health, however, remains the team’s primary concern.
“There are still 24 games to go, so we’ll see what happens,” Pareja said. “We’re supporting and helping Pablo. We’re waiting for the doctors to come back and see if he can play.”
Added Rapids technical director and former teammate Paul Bravo: "It's tough. We love Pablo."
Chris Bianchi covers the Colorado Rapids for MLSsoccer.com.