Michael Bradley, Toronto FC captain, skipping MLS all-star game

Star midfielder has calf problem

Toronto FC captain Michael Bradley is skipping Wednesday’s MLS all-star game because of a calf problem.

Bradley, who is coming off a six-game Gold Cup campaign with the U.S., was scheduled to undergo a scan Tuesday.

“We’re hoping that’s it a contusion [not a tear], of course,” said Toronto coach Greg Vanney. “But he’s having some discomfort in the calf and some swelling in there. We’re going to get a scan today and we’re going to get him some necessary rest over the course of this week and hope that he can get ready for the weekend.”

Bradley did not practice or speak to the media Tuesday.

Vanney said his star midfielder is questionable for Saturday when Toronto (8-7-4) plays on artificial turf in New England (7-9-7).

“We don’t want him on a plane travelling back and forth,” Vanney said of the all-star trip. “That never really helps the situation.”

Giovinco still a-go, Altidore also going to Denver

Italian forward Sebastian Giovinco is making the trip to suburban Denver but will be evaluated by the medical staff on the ground.

“We’ve managed him for a number of weeks with this heel bruise that’s he had,” said Vanney.

Giovinco usually spends the first part of the week in the pool and doing non-weight-bearing training.

Giovinco was apparently accompanied to Denver by Toronto striker Jozy Altidore, who posted a picture of the two of them on a plane on social media with the words: “Denver with this legend.” Altidore could be some all-star insurance in case Giovinco can’t go.

While Bradley was voted to the all-star game by the fans, Giovinco had to be added to the roster by all-star coach Pablo Mastroeni despite the fact that the Toronto star ranks second in the league goals (13) and is tied for second in assists (10).

“He deserves to be there and I’m happy for him,” Vanney said of Giovinco. “He’ll get to see what this is all about.”

Toronto has a busy schedule ahead with two home games next week, against Orlando on Wednesday and Sporting Kansas City on Saturday.

Injury replacements

Bradley joins Steven Gerrard and Robbie Keane of the Los Angeles Galaxy, Frank Lampard of New York City FC and New England’s Chris Tierney in withdrawing from the all-star game due to injury.

On Tuesday, Mastroeni added forward Gyasi Zardes and midfielder Juninho of the Galaxy, midfielder Ethan Finlay and Waylon Francis of the Columbus Crew and Colorado Rapids midfielder Sam Cronin to his 23-man roster to face England’s Tottenham.

The roster also includes Vancouver goalkeeper David Ousted and Montreal Impact defender Laurent Ciman.

By: CBC Sports