BOSTON (CBS) — The New England Revolution got Major League Soccer’s assist leader back on Monday, as Carles Gil returned to practice for the first time since suffering a muscle tissue injury a month ago.
Gil, who dished out 15 assists in 17 games before getting hurt late in New England’s 3-2 win over New York City FC on July 31, had been rehabbing the injury in Spain. That was done so that he could receive more individual attention as he worked his way back.
Gil was all smiles Monday as he took the pitch in Foxborough.
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“I’m really happy to be here and I feel good,” Gil said Monday. “It was a difficult moment for me, but I did a good job and now I feel good. I need to train with the team to feel good, but I’m happy to be back.”
Gil was the MVP favorite in the first half of the season, as the midfielder was on pace to best Carlos Valderrama’s record for most assists in a season (26). He has missed five matches while on the mend, with New England going 3-1-1 in those contests.
New England lost 2-0 Saturday night to New York City FC, but remains in first place in the Eastern Conference at 15-4-4. They are atop the Supporters’ Shield race as well with a seven-point cushion over the Seattle Sounders.
The Revs will evaluate Gil throughout the week, and though he may not start Friday night’s tilt against the Philadelphia Union, there is a chance one of the best playmakers in Major League Soccer could see some action as a subsite for New England.
That would be great news for the Revs, who will be without Matt Turner, Tajon Buchanan and Adam Buksa for Friday night’s match as the trio fulfils their duties for their respective countries in World Cup qualifying matches.