Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up
NBCSports Header Logo

Weekend off gives Toronto a chance to get Michael Bradley right


Will Defoe’s return help TFC’s playoff hopes?

You never want to hear the term “nerve issue” thrown around with any injury, but that’s what Michael Bradley’s dealing with right now with Toronto FC. Thanks for the Reds’ bye week, however, the club has a chance to get its best player right. The U.S. international, who was rested two weeks ago as Toronto fell to Colorado, has undergone a “procedure” (per the league’s web site) that will require him to stay off his injured foot for one week, a recovery time that should allow Bradley to return for May 3’s visit from New England.

The exact nature to the injury wasn’t disclosed in the league’s update, but the problem’s one that left Bradley questionable ahead of last Saturday’s visit to FC Dallas. With the off week, however, Toronto’s become more aggressive in treating the “annoying” ailment, electing to go through with plans to sideline its star for the next week of training.

From the league’s website:

“It just means he has to get off it for a week,” Nelsen told “… He can play on it, and he’s had it for a long time. … You can play on it, but it’s annoying. He’s had a procedure to take care of that; it was always going to be done over these two weeks.”

I’m no detective, and I’m probably an even worse logician, but if I’m putting these pieces together correctly, Nelsen’s telling us Bradley has not been 100 percent for a while. Given he was rested after the team’s win in Columbus, Bradley could have been carrying his injury against the Crew. He certainly was hobbled this weekend against Dallas. As he was demanding the attention of most of Óscar Pareja’s team in Saturday’s closing moments, Bradley was also carrying an injury that would leave him out-of-action for a week.

This guy that’s been one of the best midfielders in the league thus far? He hasn’t even been firing on all cylinders, for a while. When he returns next week, Toronto could get an even more influential midfielder, if that’s even possible.

Also of note, Nelsen is expected Jermain Defoe back soon. The England World Cup hopeful, after scoring three times in his first two games, has missed Toronto’s last three with a hamstring problem. Expressing hope he and central defender Doneil Henry can return for the Revolution, Nelsen described their progress as “really, really positive.”