FLUSHING MEADOWS, N.Y. — New York City FC coach Dome Torrent expects Héber and Ismael Tajouri-Shradi to be ready to play when the club hosts an Eastern Conference semifinal Oct. 23.
“I expect both to start to play the first playoff game,” Torrent said at the club’s unveiling of a 30th mini-pitch at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens Thursday.
Because the Brazilian striker’s injury is muscular in nature, Torrent said the recovery time is more unpredictable.
“When that happens you have to think about how important it is step by step, day to day because sometimes one player recovers in 15 days and another player recovers in 12 days,” he said.
However, Torrent is positive Héber, who scored 15 goals in his first regular season with the club, will be able to play some role even if he’s not fit enough to start.
“Héber, I don’t know because its different. But maybe he can play as well,” Torrent said. “If not, he will be ready to play 30-to-40 minutes. I don’t know. It depends. This kind of injury is day to day.”
Tajouri-Shradi, who scored the second goal in NYCFC’s regular-season-ending 2-1 win — his fifth of the season — subbed off with an ankle injury. After the game, Torrent revealed the winger twisted his ankle, but it wasn’t the same one he suffered a high sprain on that sidelined him for nearly three months.
This injury, Torrent said, is far less severe.
“It’s not the same. He twisted his ankle and it was impossible to play in the game against Philadelphia. But it’s not the same,” Torrent said. “Today, I spoke with him and he told me he feels really well and the feeling is much much better.”
“I expect he will be ready for the first game,” Torrent added.