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After recent return from injury, Montreal’s Ignacio Piatti cuts training short

Also, Evan Bush downplayed his Goalkeeper of the Week honors.

Mar 16, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; Montreal Impact midfielder Ignacio Piatti (10) controls the ball against Orlando City at Orlando City Stadium. Montreal Impact defeated Orlando City 3-1. (Matt Stamey/USA TODAY Sports)

MONTREAL — Evan Bush and Remi Garde were both humble in their reactions to being named the MLS player and coach of the week.

Bush notched two clean sheets last week, but made only two saves in the process. He thanked his backline for the few scoring opportunities that came his way.

“I was surprised to be on the team of the week to be honest. They probably just awarded it to the goalkeeper for the team that had the two clean sheets,” Bush said. “There’s never a time that reflects more so the ability of the defense this past week than the award that I was given.”

Bush added that the Player of the Week award, voted on by members of the North American Soccer Reporters as well as a Twitter fan poll, could have been given to the Impact’s defensive leaders like Zakaria Diallo, Samuel Piette or Daniel Lovitz.

“It’s truly a team award and I don’t say that as a cliche. It’s absolutely true,” Bush said. “Those three guys played both games this week and contributed just as much, if not more.”

Garde said that the Impact’s defensive work is the true winner of the prize.

“If Evan is in fact is nominated for this prize this week it’s because of the whole team,” Garde said. “We saw in the New England game that on the first 45 minutes the opposition didn’t get a shot on target. It shows the intensity of the work done by his teammates.”

Garde also remained humble in being named the coach of the week, deflecting credit to the rest of his team.

“I’m obviously happy, but it’s really not what’s important,” Garde said. “In any case, if there was any importance, the same way I said for Evan’s, it’s also credit to my technical staff and everyone around me and the players. Without the players, we, the staff, are nothing.”

Ignacio Piatti leaves training early

Ignacio Piatti rejoined his teammates in full training last week, but had to leave Tuesday morning’s session early. Garde confirmed the reason for his departure was not related to the knee injury he suffered in Orlando in March.

“If I understood correctly it’s not exactly the same pain,” Garde said. “It’s a tension more than a pain, it’s not really important. I haven’t discussed with him as we speak, but it was more precautionary than problem solving.”

Garde added that the club is taking its time with Piatti’s injury regardless of Tuesday’s incident.

“Nacho stopped for five or six weeks, he’s coming back and there is no magic wand for this,” Garde said. “We need to bring the machine back on track and it could take a bit of time.”  

Minor injury epidemic

Bacary Sagna ended last Sunday’s game with hamstring tightness, which he thinks might be a result of the team’s traveling last week.

“I don’t know [for this weekend], I had tension behind my leg that I had felt before the game,” he said. “During the game it worked out until the end of the first half. After that it bothered me a little, but thank God I don’t have a muscular tear. It’s more of a stretch. I just need to rest and heal up.”

Sagna argued that the Impact’s plane issues in the trip to New England didn’t help his team recover. 

“I want to say that weirdly enough [minor injuries] happens after long trips,” Sagna said. “It didn’t hit us directly, but with time, tightness comes up for a few of us and that’s what happened for me.”

Minor injuries have been rampant among the Impact squad. During Tuesday’s session both Piatti and Victor Cabrera had to leave early with knocks. For Garde, the team got through difficult conditions since the start of the season and that didn’t help the health of his players.

“Today all of a sudden it got pretty warm, the field is not ideal,” Garde said. “I know that the people here do their best to try and make it greener, but the cold temperatures at night doesn’t allow for the germination. The field is very difficult for the players. It can also explain certain situations so I can’t push the players too much this week.”

The Impact will host New York City FC at Stade Saputo on May 4 at 5 p.m.

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