An already thin Minnesota United FC roster has endured another injury hit.
Draftee Thomas de Villardi, who had just sent in his finished contract to the league Monday, left practice Wednesday on crutches, not bearing weight on his left leg. The defender, who had played left-back for United in preseason, had just recently recovered from a sprained ankle he hurt in the final preseason match.
Assistant coach Mark Watson said it was a non-contact injury, and the team will wait for the results from an MRI to know the extent of it.
De Villardi is the fifth injured player for United. Goalkeeper John Alvbage continued to train separately Wednesday with a knee laceration from the Atlanta match March 12. Defender Joe Greenspan joined in on training for the second day while third-choice goalkeeper Patrick McLain watched from the sidelines. Both are recovering from concussions, and coach Adrian Heath said Tuesday it would probably be too soon to see Alvbage, Greenspan or McLain play 1 p.m. Saturday at the New England Revolution.
Midfielder Bernardo Anor is also still on the disabled list with a leg injury.
"They're starting to add up a little bit," Watson said of the injuries. "If we're looking just at Thomas' case, it's a really tough one because he's worked hard. ... He was doing really well, and he's just kind of got going again. And he's looked sharp since coming back from that first injury. So we feel really bad for him."
With de Villardi's injury, United will likely miss 10 of 27 players this weekend. Defender Justin Davis will serve a red card suspension while defender Francisco Calvo and midfielders Johan Venegas, Rasmus Schuller and Kevin Molino will be away on national team duty.
That means United will be one man short of a full 18-man match-day squad this weekend and will have just one surplus defender on the bench.