Didier Drogba has struggled with knee issues in the last five years.
There was a recurrence of the same while playing for Montréal Impact on turf pitches. This means that the club had to do without their star centre forward during the play-off matches last season. Keen to avoid a repeat of the same, technical director Adam Braz stated that Drogba is unlikely to feature in the opening few games of the 2016 season. The first five matches of the campaign will be played on artificial pitches, which has not been good enough for Drogba’s fragile knee.
Montréal Impact know that they stand to profit heavily from Drogba’s presence in key games. Hence, managing the former Chelsea striker is key towards the club achieving its goals in the 2016 campaign.Four of the first five games in the club’s campaign will be played on artificial pitches due to harsh weather conditions. Drogba has ruled out that this precaution is being given as an excuse, as he tries to engineer a return to Chelsea. The former Ivory Coast international was linked with a return to Stamford Bridge as a coach when the club had sacked Jose Mourinho.
Drogba has reaffirmed his commitment to Montréal Impact by saying that this decision is just a precaution and he will continue playing for the MLS outfit. “Didier won’t be available for the beginning of the season while we’re training or playing on turf. It’s too big of a risk for us to take with him with his knee. As we saw last year when we played [on turf] in New England, his knee really swelled up and he really had a tough time recovering afterwards for the playoffs,” Braz said. Montréal Impact are up against Vancouver Whitecaps and New York Red Bulls in the opening two games.