Bradley Wright-Phillips
ESNY Graphic, AP Photo

New York Red Bulls star forward Bradley Wright-Phillips has been questionable to play and it’s raising serious questions. 

The New York Red Bulls player in the picture above is Bradley Wright-Phillips—just in case you forgot what he looks like since he hasn’t played in so long.

Wright-Phillips has been out of action for 33 days now due to a soft tissue sprain in his groin.

It was first reported that the Englishman was injured on the club’s website in an article in which they announced the club’s starting XI against F.C. Cincinnati on April 27.

After the match, head coach Chris Armas expressed that his star striker’s injury wasn’t serious and that he kept him out of the match out of precaution in a press conference.

“We decided to be cautious. Didn’t want to be irresponsible. Yeah, that was all,” Armas said.

Six days later, Wright-Phillips was listed as questionable for RBNY’s next game against L.A. Galaxy and didn’t play. Four days later, BWP was questionable again for New York’s match versus Montreal Impact on May 7.

Later on May 10, Wright Phillips was listed as questionable again in The Metros’ away game versus F.C. Dallas.

The former Manchester City forward has been questionable to play in New York’s last seven matches. We might hear the same story again in RBNY’s next game this weekend.

The Athletic reporter Kristian Dyer tweeted that Wright-Phillips didn’t practice on Wednesday and is unlikely to play versus Real Salt Lake on Saturday.

It’s totally understandable to be out injured for a long time but to be questionable to play for over a month is a bit odd.

According to The Physio Therapy Clinics, it takes one to two weeks to recover from a Grade 1 soft tissue injury and three to four weeks to heal from a Grade 2 soft tissue. As mentioned, it’s been a little over a month since BWP has been nursing his groin.

A Grade 3 soft tissue injury takes six weeks to three months to fully recover and could require surgery. But despite the fact that BWP is taking over a month to recover, it’s highly unlikely that his injury is a Grade 3.

A Grade 3 soft tissue is a tear, New York classified Wright-Phillips’s injury as a sprain. A tear would’ve more than likely caused deformation and prevent mobility; if BWP was having trouble moving the club would’ve never listed him as questionable in the first place. Well, we hope not.

A couple of factors that are possibly prolonging Wright-Phillips’s healing are, first and foremost, his age; the forward is 34-year-old and perhaps he returned to training too early. But how did he even get injured in the first place?

Two things that could have caused the England native’s injury are either he pulled his groin or overused it. BWP did shoot the ball four times in his last outing against the Revs and played four full 90, made an 86-minute and a 72-minute appearance from March 16 to April 20.

Elsewhere, shockingly, RBNY is scoring at a faster pace without their all-time leading goal scorer. The team is averaging 1.8 goals/per game without him and 1.3 goals/game with the Englishman up top. BWP tallied one goal in six MLS games so far this year.

The club also amassed a better record without him, 5W-1T-1L compared to 1W-4L-1D.

Wright-Phillips replacements Brian White and Tom Barlow started to make a name for themselves. White leads the team in scoring with three goals out of nine shots. Meanwhile, Barlow scored a winner versus New York’s rivals, Atlanta United.

However, despite the team playing better without BWP this season and the club’s young strikers’ rapid growth, the 34-year-old is still the ideal starting forward in New York. His club record-breaking of 107 goals in 177 games speaks for itself.

The team as a whole was underperforming at the beginning of the season. Now that the bulls from New York are starting to gain their groove back, adding Wright-Phillips can only make this team stronger.

It’s safe to say that BWP might be the bull the team is missing on the pitch to start dominating the MLS as they did last season.

Originally from Haiti, Ralph 'Onz' Chery started his writing career as a City College of New York student with The Campus. He also wrote for First Touch, the Cosmopolitan Soccer League and other local leagues. After graduating, Onz started covering the New York Red Bulls for ESNY and joined Haitian Times.