What will Union do without injured Le Toux?

What will Union do without injured Le Toux?
October 17, 2013, 12:15 pm
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Sebastien Le Toux played only 16 minutes before he had to be pulled in Saturday's draw. (USA Today Images)

Fighting off plantar fasciitis in his right foot for over a month, Union midfielder Sebastien Le Toux finally surrendered to the notoriously painful ailment in the first minute of last Saturday’s draw with DC United.

And it doesn’t seem to be getting any better.

According to the Union, as of Wednesday, it’s an injury that could easily keep Le Toux out of Saturday’s match against the Montreal Impact and possibly the following week's regular-season finale.

“He’s still feeling it,” Union manager John Hackworth said. “We hope to have him back for Saturday but our medical staff has done a ton of treatment with him right now. If he can go on Saturday, we’ll try to make that determination in the next couple of days. To be fair, it doesn’t look great. But with this injury, if he can manage it right, there’s a chance he can play.”

Le Toux’s injury, which currently has him in a walking boot and unable to participate in practice, sent the Union scrambling in the 16th minute when he was pulled from the game. Already short starting right back Sheanon Williams and back-up left back Fabinho to suspension, Le Toux was forced into playing emergency right back and was replaced by little-used Matt Kassel.

“Seba went down in the first minute and told me he needed a sub -- literally the first minute of the game,” Hackworth said. “So that’s a tough one to deal with when you’re starting a guy at right back that hasn’t played there before. Matt was that person that we felt like coming off the bench would be his backup but that’s not a move you want to make that early. There are all different kind of scenarios and that one is one that usually doesn’t happen.”

Despite Hackworth’s early apprehension, Kassel did finish the game strong, giving the Union an opportunity to tie the match in stoppage time. And barring a miracle recovery, the Union will once again need to adequately fill Le Toux’s shoes on Saturday.

The hobbled playmaker will be replaced at left attacking midfielder by one of Fabinho, Keon Daniel or Danny Cruz. Replacing Le Toux on free kicks could be Kleberson, who has been red hot, scoring a free kick game-winning goal against Toronto FC two weeks ago before assisting in Jack McInerney’s late equalizer on Saturday.

“Guys like Matt [Kassel] and other guys are really valuable,” Hackworth said. “It’s good to see those guys are taking their opportunities. We might have the same situation this weekend.”

One name that isn’t in the running to replace Le Toux is Michael Farfan, who has shown improved play of late but will serve a suspension for yellow-card accumulation. With four goals in their last eight games and without their leading assist man in Le Toux, the Union could use Farfan’s creative ability.

“It’s going to be tough to lose Michael,” Hackworth said. “And I’ve been really pleased with Michael over the past three games. It hasn’t been the easiest year for him but to see him back in really good form and playing some huge minutes for us and be so important to what we’re doing, I’m pleased for him personally knowing that as a player he has that capability.

“We have to fill that void this weekend. But we’re hopeful that whoever that is will rise to the occasion and that Michael will come back and continue his form.”