It’s going to be a while before Real Salt Lake fans see Jamison Olave in uniform again.
The RSL center back injured himself in the second half of Tuesday’s match in Costa Rica, and an MRI on Thursday revealed a pretty significant hamstring strain that will keep him out four to six weeks.
Olave has been hampered by a calf strain the past two months, and it’s limited him to just three appearances in the past seven MLS matches.
If Olave, 31, makes a speedy recovery and is back in four weeks for the D.C. United match on Sept. 1, he’s still going to miss four league games and a Champions League game. If the injury lingers for six weeks, he could miss as many as six league games and two Champions League games.
Without a timetable for Chris Schuler’s return either, that puts a lot of pressure on RSL newcomer Kwame Watson-Siriboe. The defender has played in all six matches since being traded from Chicago, and RSL coach Jason Kreis has no reservations about continuing to play him.
“I feel comfortable with him. I don’t feel there’s much of a drop off. I think he’s earned that right to say ‘Coach, hey, there should be no hesitation from you to play me,’” said Kreis.
Of his six appearances, Watson-Siriboe has started three matches and been used as a sub in the other three.
It doesn’t sound like Schuler is going to be back competing with Watson-Siriboe for minutes anytime soon. He’s still recovering from the stress practice in his left foot that he suffered on May 12, and was once again limited to just jogging at practice this week.
“He’s obviously not moving forward as fast as we would like. We x-ray him once every week or once every 10 days. And the bone just hasn’t quite healed 100 percent. We continue to wait,” said Kreis. “It’s a bit of an anomaly. Most people the bone heals between six or eight weeks and now we’re at like nine or 10 with him and we’re still don’t have full heal of his bone.”
With his injury nearing the three month mark, Schuler has now missed 10 league games, a U.S. Open Cup match and a Champions League match.
“We have certainly been taking a cautious approach and we will up to a certain point, and at some point we’re going to have to make a decision and take a risk,” said Kreis.