Wittman injures hip, will miss game


For a second time this season, Baltimore Blast midfielder Tim Wittman has fallen victim to injury.

Wittman fell on his right hip in the second quarter of Saturday night's 5-4 overtime loss to the Tacoma Stars and will miss at least Thursday night's game against the Dallas Sidekicks at Reunion Arena.

Blast trainer Marty McGinty said yesterday that Wittman suffered a very painful hip pointer (deep bruise) that could also keep him tTC out of Saturday night's game against the San Diego Sockers at the Baltimore Arena.

Wittman missed the entire pre-season and the season opener with a strained lower back.

"Timmy's in a lot of pain," said McGinty. "It's been a little hard to convince him that something more serious isn't wrong because it hurts so much. He had trouble at first just walking. But once the pain is gone, he can play."

Wittman left the Tacoma game in the second quarter, joining Mike Reynolds (sore right knee) and Joe Barger (bruised left foot) on the sidelines with injuries. Reynolds and Barger were hurt in Friday night's 7-6 overtime victory over the Kansas City Comets.

Mark Mettrick (strained groin muscle) didn't make the trip to Kansas City, Mo., and Tacoma.

Bruce Savage (chronic left ankle problem), Hank Henry (left ankle sprain), Dale Mitchell (right ankle sprain) and Billy Ronson (left turf toe) have played despite their injuries.

Blast coach Kenny Cooper said: "The disappointing thing is that we normally get our injuries in ones, now we're getting them in twos and threes and they're coming early in the season. Hopefully, we won't get any late in the season like we have the past two years."

All the wounded Blast players are expected to play Thursday night except Wittman.

Mettrick, who has missed six games, returned to practice yesterday with no complications.

NOTES: Wittman, Ronson and Richard Chinapoo missed practice yesterday. Chinapoo had an exam in corporate tax, causing him to miss his first practice of the season. . . . After losing three straight to Tacoma this season and five in a row at the Tacoma Dome, Cooper said: "Right now they have our number. I'll admit it."

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