Gonzalo Veron hasn’t played since the second leg of the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals. (Michael Lewis/FrontRowSoccer.com Photo)

HARRISON, N.J. — The Red Bulls say that Gonzalo Veron will resume training Thursday.

The oft-injured midfielder-forward has been sidelined with a hamstring injury since the second leg of the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals March 2. His road to recovery has been a frustrating one, needless to say.

“He will start for sure field work on Thursday,” Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch told reporters after practice at the team’s training facility Tuesday.

Marsch also is keeping his fingers crossed that the Argentine player will be available for the Orlando City SC away game Sunday, April 9.

“He’s spending two days in there and Thursday he will be able to start on field work,” Marsch said. “We’ll know how that goes and think about whether he will be integrated into training on Friday, with an eye not the Houston game, but the Orlando game as potential for him to start to return to play.”

Except for a 15-minute stint in the 1-0 home win over the Colorado Rapids, center back Aurelien Collin has been missing from the Starting XI this MLS season. Last year the Frenchman was the key to pulling the backline together after New York acquired him from Orlando.

“We just felt that Aurelien needed to get himself a little bit more fit, a little bit more sharp,” Marsch said.  “In the meantime, I think he spent the last few weeks have a good mentality and preparing himself even more and I think he’s a distinct possibility from the start for this game.”

That would be Houston Saturday night.

One player who won’t be playing this Saturday and for a while is midfielder Mike Grella, who will be sidelined with a knee injury. The Glen Cove, N.Y. native recently received an injection to help in the discomfort in his knee and quad muscle after visiting a specialist last week.

Grella’s knee problems go back to last year’s Eastern Conference semifinals series against the Montreal Impact.

“At the end of the season he felt a little something weird in his knee,” Marsch said. “They were hoping going into the offseason that some rest, everything would calm down. MRIs didn’t show anything that big, maybe a bone bruise.

“Now the more it has been investigated, they think it may be a little defect at the end of his femur. So with being said, they are trying to some treatments to get if they can get some of the soreness and the swelling to calm down and hopefully in a month that he will be stronger and he won’t have such sensitivity to the pain there. We’ll see. We’re hopeful that’s going to work out.”

Front Row Soccer editor Michael Lewis has covered 13 World Cups (eight men, five women), seven Olympics and 25 MLS Cups. He has written about New York City FC, New York Cosmos, the New York Red Bulls and both U.S. national teams for Newsday and has penned a soccer history column for the Guardian.com. Lewis, who has been honored by the Press Club of Long Island and National Soccer Coaches Association of America, is the former editor of BigAppleSoccer.com. He has written seven books about the beautiful game and has published ALIVE AND KICKING The incredible but true story of the Rochester Lancers. It is available at Amazon.com.