Portland Timbers goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey is expected to miss four weeks after tearing a finger ligament in Saturday’s win over San Jose.
Kwarasey suffered the injury while scooping up a shot early in the second half. Coach Caleb Porter said on Tuesday that Kwarasey’s finger got stuck in the Providence Park turf. Kwarasey will not need surgery but must wear a splint on the finger.
Jake Gleeson, who replaced Kwarasey on Saturday, will be the starting goalkeeper while Kwarasey is out.
“The guys have a lot of confidence in Jake Gleeson, and it’s a great opportunity for him because he’ll be playing the next month at least,” Porter said.
Gleeson, 25, has been with the Timbers since they entered Major League Soccer in 2011. He appeared in four of the team’s first five regular-season MLS matches in 2011, starting three of them, because starting goalkeeper Troy Perkins was injured. He also started for an ill Kwarasey in a scoreless draw with Vancouver in the first leg of last season’s conference semifinals.
During his time with Portland, Gleeson has played primarily in reserve matches and starting last season for the club’s United Soccer League side, Timbers 2.
Darren Mattocks, who left Saturday’s match after colliding with San Jose defender Victor Bernardez, suffered a mild concussion according to Porter. The Timbers expect Mattocks will start his return-to-play protocol this week. If that process started on Tuesday, Mattocks could be available for the Timbers next game, which is at New England on April 27.
The happier news on the injury front Tuesday was that Darlington Nagbe is back training at full speed and will be available for the game at New England. That is an important boost since Diego Valeri is likely to miss that game after he received two yellow cards and was dismissed late in the win over San Jose.
Porter said the Timbers disagree with the second yellow card, which was given when Valeri took a shot after the whistle that caught Anibal Godoy in the head. Porter argued that Valeri was taking a shot at goal, but noted that it is unlikely that the one-game suspension will be rescinded.
The Timbers expect another key player back in the fold soon. Porter said Liam Ridgewell, who has missed the last six games with a hamstring injury, is scheduled to return to training on Saturday. The center back will likely be available for the Timbers May 1 home match against Toronto FC.
Midfielder Ben Zemanski is expected back in training on Wednesday after recovering from a groin strain. Winger Dairon Asprilla was an unused substitute on Saturday and has recovered from a strained arch, according to Porter.
Right back Alvas Powell is out for up to six weeks after wrist surgery. Porter said the strong performance by Zarek Valentin on Saturday at right back was encouraging. That kind of response will make the Timbers stronger later in the season as the stakes get bigger, Porter said.
“These are the types of things where you have to use it as a positive,” Porter said. “We don’t have everybody healthy, but guys have to step up like they did last game — then when we do get guys back healthy, now we have a stronger team.”
Timbers 2 in action – Portland Timbers 2 (1-3) will face the Orange County Blues (1-2-1) at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in Irvine, Calif. A live webcast of the match will be available at www.timbers2.com. T2 will also play on Saturday at Tulsa against the Roughnecks.