Wednesday, May 21, 2014

What's Going On With Torres?

A lot of news and rumors have been swirling around Torres over the last few days.  Let's review the timeline and see what, if anything, we really "know":

On Friday night Bianchi tweets the following:
Torres away with Panamanian team on special fitness program, I'm told. Turn off the alarm, put away the tinfoil hats. Myself included.
On Saturday the Rapids released a press release with the following info:
  • Torres to be shut down until June 7th for strengthening and conditioning
  • He has significant muscle damage already
On Sunday a fan who has proven to be well-connected posted this on Facebook:
 Torres is going to Panama and when he gets back, he's going on a six week fitness program required by Pablo. It's not for strength to prevent injury or the other stuff you read ... It's to get his fat ass in shape and he's benched until he completes it and isn't going to play until he's in shape.
On Monday the Rapids announced that Torres will be leaving on May 28th to join the Panamanian National Team for their matches on May 31st and June 3rd, before returning to the team in time for the June 7th game.

Yesterday the Denver Post reported:
Rapids coach Pablo Mastroeni said Tuesday recent tests showed damage in Torres' quadriceps, hamstrings and lower back. However, the man he described as "Panama's biggest star" has made drastic improvement over the past 10 days.
"I've known for a while that Panama wanted me for these games, but I had to get the last word from the club, and when the club said it was OK, then I started to get everything rolling," Torres said through an interpreter Tuesday. "The team wanted me to play because these games are important and also because of the new coach of the Panama national team."
Mastroeni said being called up for international play is a great honor, and he supports it.
"It's a balance, right? It's not about us, it's about Gaby. So, there's a balance to be had. So if Gaby feels like (joining Panama) is something he wants to do for his career, then we as an organization support that."
So what does all this mean?  There's some complimentary and some conflicting information.  Let's go step by step:
  • The trip to Panama is for the National Team games, not for any of the strengthening work.
  • Torres is clearly going through some sort of fitness/strengthening/conditioning training that's making him unavailable for at least 4 games (@FSL, Montreal, Houston, Chicago).
  • Whatever possible muscle damage that's leading the team to shut him down, its not enough to prevent him from playing with Panama.
The real question mark is why he's undergoing this training.  Is it due to fears of muscle damage, or is he just out of shape?  From my observations of Torres it does appear he's carrying more weight this season than last year and he does seem to have some fitness issues as he appears to drag near the end of his time in games.

My guess?  The Rapids have seen some muscle concerns in the scans and they're using that for a cover to deal with the fact that Torres is out of shape.  I can't believe that if Torres was already injured or was at real threat for injury (to the level that he's not being allowed to play in games) the Rapids would agree to let him play for Panama.  Instead I think the Rapids are unhappy with his fitness level and have told him that they won't stop him playing for Panama, but he won't get game action in Colorado until he shows he's fit enough to play and the concerns over his possible muscle strains are alleviated.

This is conjecture based on the various reports I've seen, but it seems to fit all the facts as we know them while explaining the differences in stories.


Anonymous said...

Nice work on timeline Jason.

Just leaves us to wonder why Buddle saw action when clearly out of shape last season. Especially with all other forward options no showing as any threat to score.

Still think something is going on and we may have already seen his last game in Rapids colors already.

Jason Maxwell said...

The main difference between last year and this year is the coach. I get the impression that Pablo isn't putting up with Torres the way Pareja put up with Buddle.