Philadelphia Union head coach Jim Curtin provided an update on Andre Blake’s injury, admitting the goalkeeper is in good spirits after initial scans.
The Jamaican international exited the team’s 1-0 win over the Chicago Fire on Saturday with a non-contact injury, leaving the Union and fans to expect the worse. But Curtin clarified Blake picked up a ‘grade one abductor strain’, and could see a return as soon as Matchday 5 on March 25.
“Good news is that it is a grade one abductor strain, which is the lowest grade possible,” Curtin said. “He won’t be a part of the Montreal game because he hasn’t trained yet this week. Of all the news we could have gotten, that is as good as it we could get.”
The two-time MLS Goalkeeper of Year will be replaced by substitute Joe Bendik for the time being. Bendik earned his first start of the year on Tuesday’s 4-0 victory over Alianza FC in the Concacaf Champions League.
Curtin’s ability to trust Bendik allows for Blake to recover as needed, as the head coach feels no need to rush the process.
“I’ll never rule out what could happen next because I don’t like to put timelines on these things, especially when every player heals differently,” he said.
“Andre has typically been a quick healer, so I don’t want to sit here and say two or three or four weeks, but I don’t want to say he’ll play against Orlando because I’m not positive. Right now he hasn’t stepped on the field with us in training, but he’s going to work like heck and our medical staff does an amazing job getting guys back as quickly as possible.”
The Union currently sit in fifth place of the Eastern Conference table, after a decent start to the 2023 MLS campaign. The team has balanced the start of the season with Concacaf Champions League action, losing just one of five games played in all competitions.
The team returns to action on Friday, when facing Montreal at Montreal Olympic Stadium.