Jesse Marsch on Mike Grella (right): “It’s just disappointing because Mike did so many things to try and get himself ready to go and ultimately, nothing that he was able to do was able to alleviate the pain that much.” (Brett Davis/USA TODAY Sports)
HANOVER, N.J. – On Monday, head coach Jesse Marsch spoke for the first time in length about the decision to shut down Red Bulls midfielder Mike Grella for the season.
The Glen Cove, N.Y. native had been bothered with a knee injury all season and struggled to reach his former form.
“We’re sort of over the initial shock of it because we’ve known about it for a week,” Marsch told reporters at the Red Bulls training facility Monday. “But it’s just disappointing because Mike did so many things to try and get himself ready to go and ultimately, nothing that he was able to do was able to alleviate the pain that much.
“So, we knew that in the back of our minds that the six-month surgery was always going to be there, if need be. We were trying to avoid it as much as we can. That was a decision we had to make and we’re very confident that Mike will make a full recovery.”
Grella, 30, played eight games and started three this season over 362 minutes. He did not score a goal or record an assist.
Marsch said Grella “was never at 100 percent.”
“It was hard,” he added. “You knew that he was thinking about it, you knew that he wasn’t himself and in the end, that’s where we had to make a decision. We’re not doing any body any favors by pushing him.”