Although an MRI revealed nothing more serious than a sprained ankle, Obafemi Martins will not be available for the Seattle Sounders' match against the Columbus Crew on Saturday. The forward stayed behind in Seattle, along with midfielder Shalrie Joseph, who is nursing an MCL sprain.
"It was still swollen and still bothersome and we felt that it was important that we make sure he's right for those games we don't have the national team players," Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid said about Martins on a Friday conference call. "I made the decision to leave him at home and make sure he's right for Wednesday."
The Sounders will be missing Clint Dempsey, Brad Evans and Eddie Johnson for home matches against Chivas USA (Sept. 4) and the Chicago Fire (Sept. 7) after the trio was called up for a pair of World Cup qualifiers.
Martins has not played since being forced to leave the game against Toronto FC on Aug. 10. He remains the team's leading scorer with seven goals and three assists in just 1,025 minutes.
The prognosis was not as optimistic for Joseph, who apparently continued to play for about 30 minutes after suffering the injury. The veteran midfielder has been limited to just 592 minutes while dealing with a host of various injuries.