Jim Curtin would like to have key midfielder Jamiro Monteiro back in action just as much as Union fans would like to see Monteiro play again.
But from the sound of things, Monteiro still hasn’t fully recovered from the sprained ankle that he suffered in Orlando on July 4. He has missed the last three games, and on Wednesday he worked off to the side while the active players scrimmaged. The odds that Monteiro plays in Saturday’s game at the Montreal Impact (8 p.m., PHL17) seem slim.
“It’ll be close for the weekend, we’ll see, but he’s certainly, I don’t think, much further than two more weeks out at the worst-case scenario,” Curtin, the Union manager, said Wednesday after practice. “It’ll be up to him and the medical staff as they continue to push as quickly as possible to get him back.”
There were hints in Curtin’s remarks that the Union are slow-playing Monteiro’s return, even with his importance to the team. Given Curtin’s admission earlier in the season that Marco Fabián was rushed back from the same injury, a bit of extra prudence isn’t surprising.
“We’ll be smart that in fact he is 100 percent before we put him back on the field,” Curtin said. “So much of his game is how quick he is, his explosiveness, and we don’t want to put him out there when he doesn’t have that.”
When the news first broke that striker Cory Burke was stuck in Jamaica because of visa issues, the timeline for his potential return was set at a minimum of three months.
It’s been just about three months now, and Burke has been posting regularly on Instagram about how much he misses the Union. So the time seemed right to check in.
Unfortunately, there hasn’t been any progress. Curtin said Burke still isn’t allowed to re-enter the United States, and that “for this year, it’s highly unlikely that he’ll be back on our roster.”
Burke has done his best to stay fit while sidelined, working out regularly with trainers in Jamaica. The Union still want to loan Burke to another club to get him some game action.
“Hopefully, there’s a solution that makes sense for all parties that’s coming here in the coming weeks as the transfer window is closing,” Curtin said.
Curtin knows, though, that the ultimate outcome is out of his hands.