As far as injuries go, It’s been a bit of a sadistic dance for the Houston Dynamo this week.
On one hand, they got a much wanted player back on the training pitch Wednesday in forward Omar Cummings. However, the club lost another center back in Anthony Arena to injury Wednesday while also missing Giles Barnes, Adam Moffat and Eric Brunner.
On the bright side, having Cummings on the field is a major step in the right direction for the Dynamo. Cummings has been sidelined for much of the first three months of the season because of a right knee injury, but on Wednesday he was back on the field and showing the finishing skills that Houston expected of him all along.
“It went well. The legs weren’t great but that’s expected,” Cummings told MLSsoccer.com. “Doing things with the ball and change of direction is always going to be difficult, but the knee felt fine and now we just have to work on the fitness aspect.”
Houston head coach Dominic Kinnear also admitted that it was refreshing to see Cummings back at practice.
“It was good to see him out on the field today," said Kinnear. "We’ve gone pretty deep as far as our squad goes in regards to getting minutes. To have someone like him on the field, and playing and not just jogging, is a good thing.”
While Cummings is on the way back to help the forward line, however, the Dynamo are ailing everywhere else.
Houston are already without Jermaine Taylor at center back, and now you can add Brunner and Arena to the list of the club's walking wounded. Brunner left last Saturday’s 1-1 draw against the Columbus Crew in the 20th minute after a head-to-head collision with former Dynamo forward Dominic Oduro.
His replacement was Arena, who showed well in the relief situation. But the injury bug bit him on Wednesday, as he left training with an undisclosed injury.
The midfield and forward lines have their issues, but they are not believed to be as bad as originally thought. Both Moffat and Barnes left the weekend’s game with knee and foot injuries, respectively, but Kinnear does not believe the injuries to be long term and the pair, along with Brunner, will be re-evaluated after the first of two weekends off of MLS play.
“You don’t want weekends off unless it’s under some crazy circumstances, and right now I think we fall into that category,” Kinnear said. “Anthony Arena got hurt in practice today and that just shows you our luck. It’s good we have this weekend off.”
Houston travel to face the Charleston Battery in a reserve game Saturday before a June 12 US Open Cup match with rival FC Dallas.
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.