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Sacramento Republic hopeful Skundrich, Werner available for playoffs

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No guarantees, but midfielders could be back vs. Phoenix Rising.

Courtesy of Republic FC.

Two players missing from Sacramento Republic FC’s 4-0 romp over Portland Timbers 2 Saturday to close out the USL Championship regular season were Drew Skundrich and Sam Werner.

They didn’t need them on the night, but both players have played key roles and been in the lineup this season.

But both players have been battling injury lately, a concerning sign ahead of the playoffs opening Saturday against Phoenix Rising FC in Arizona.

Sac Republic head coach Mark Briggs offered an update on the players’ status for the postseason and sounded hopeful they can be ready.

“Sam strained his hip flexor in Tacoma on Wednesday and Drew’s got a problem, it’s like high in his hamstring, like his [glute], so it was better to rest them tonight and try and get them healthy by next week, which is important, obviously,” Briggs told reporters in the postgame press conference after the win over Portland. “We’re still hopeful to have them both available for selection, but we’ll have to assess them. Betty [Olmedo, athletic trainer] and Katy [Norton, physical therapist] will have to assess them and then they’ll let me know if they’re available or not.”

Werner has played in 15 of 16 games this season, 11 starts, while Skundrich has started all 13 games he’s played in this season, many of those as Republic FC’s captain. While the team has some depth in both positions, having both healthy and available would certainly provide a boost for Sacramento, especially in the playoffs when it’s a single-elimination format.

But we’ll see. One or both players may not be able to go, and we’ll see what happens this week as the team prepares.

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