Days out of the most important 401 derby in MLS history, Montreal Impact manager Frank Klopas had some good news and some bad news out of training today. Which is which largely depends on whether one's interests lie with Toronto FC or Klopas' visiting Impact in this Saturday's match at BMO Field.
Didier Drogba will play in his first ever 401 derby as the Ivory Coast legend appears to be fit for this weekend's match despite a toe injury. That injury will keep him out of tomorrow's Voyageur's Cup final match against the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Montreal, however, will be without designated player Ignacio Piatti for both matches, and quite possibly beyond. The injury is to Piatti's calf and at best will hold him out a "few weeks" according to Klopas. This is a huge blow to their playoff hopes as they currently sit in sixth place in the Eastern Conference.
So far this season Piatti has 8 goals and 4 assists in 20 Major League Soccer games with the Impact. He leads the team in both those categories, with 2 more goals than former Toronto FC striker Dominic Oduro. He also leads the team in shots on goal, showing how integral he is the Impact attack.
Drogba made his Impact debut this past week against the Philadelphia Union in a 1-0 loss. He was subbed on in the 59th minute but was unable to help the Impact overcome Sebastian Le Toux's loan goal for the Union.
Some have speculated that his toe injury is one of "convenience" and instead the club did not want him travelling midweek to Vancouver for a game on the turf of BC Place. However, Klopas was quick to point out today that this wasn't true, and that Drogba was initially planning on making the flight.
Considering the stock that the Impact have put in this competition in the past it is hardly unbelievable. They will be undoubtedly looking for Wednesday's match to kickstart another historic Champions League run.
The team will also be looking to carry that result into Saturday, where they are searching for revenge against Toronto after being dominated 3-1 in their only meeting so far this season. The match will be played at 4:00 PM.