News that Dwayne De Rosario is ahead of schedule and could return to practice for D.C. United as early as next week adds even more importance to the team’s drive for a result Saturday in Chicago.
If D.C. loses to the Fire in both teams’ regular season finale at Toyota Park, there is a reasonable chance the bunch from RFK Stadium could fall from second place all the way to fourth.
United has done quite well without De Rosario, finishing the season strong and clinching its first playoff berth since 2007 without the services of its top attacker. Still, everyone around RFK Stadium would surely love to have their Canadian international back for the post-season.
So here’s the thing: by falling from second to fourth, the post-season would become significantly more complicated and perilous. It would add one addition match, which means one more opportunity to be eliminated.
And since De Rosario says he might return to practice next week, but probably wouldn’t be able to play in a mid-week contest, any contest United plays before next weekend would almost surely be without its top playmaker.
If they can push back their playoff until next weekend, chances seem to be growing that De Rosario might be involved.
Here’s what De Rosario told the Washington Post’s Steven Goff about his ongoing recovery:
It is coming along. It feels good today. I am doing a lot of work on it to get the strength back. It’s starting to get there. I am able to run, bike work, cardio work. I have been doing some lateral movement. So far it feels good. It’s still a little ways to go. I got back outside toward the end of last week to do sprints, controlled lateral movement, some ball work.”