1. Are Miguel Almiron and co. healthy?
Short answer: For the most part.
Long answer: Miguel Almiron proved he was fit when he logged 90 minutes during the return leg. He ran all around the pitch and seemed to be in multiple places at once. His teammates’ fitness is a different story.
The notable injury this past Sunday was Jeff Larentowicz. The defensive stalwart picked up a muscle injury during the away leg. The club was tightlipped about the injury, leading many to believe Larentowicz would appear in the game day eighteen or play on a minutes restriction. However, he didn’t even appear in the game day eighteen.
Hector Villalba is another player with questionable fitness. The winger appeared in the second half of the away leg, but coaches pulled him before the final whistle, giving the impression that something was wrong. Villalba picked up an injury with the Paraguayan national team last month, but many thought he returned to fitness until he was pulled last week. He made a cameo at the end of this past Sunday’s match and appeared to be fine, but a larger sample size is needed.
So the answer remains: the team is healthy for the most part. Larentowicz’s health is a big hit for the team, although Robinson replaced him admirably during the return leg. Villalba’s absence wasn’t detrimental to the team and he should be getting healthier by the minute. There are no other significant injuries for the Five Stripes, so the team is looking fairly healthy and should be at or near 100% by the time the conference final begins.