Timbers goalkeeper Troy Perkins says he expects to play this Saturday against Columbus, despite taking a cleat to the face during last weekend's match against the Impact in Montreal.
Perkins sported a bandaged nose and a wounded forehead when he spoke to reporters today at Jeld-Wen Field.
In the 63rd minute of last Saturday's away game, Perkins and Montreal's Sanna Nyassi both went for a ball in Portland's penalty area, and Nyassi's boot caught Perkins square in the face. Perkins left the game with a bloody nose, and was replaced by backup keeper Joe Bendik.
When asked about the extent of his injuries this morning, Perkins said it wasn't yet clear if his nose was broken, but a concussion has been ruled out.
He says his initial fear following the hit was that he had lost an eye.
"I thought my eye was gone," he told reporters. "As soon as I opened my eyes I was thankful that I could see."
He was thankful, but not happy. Perkins criticized Nyassi for going after a ball with his cleats forward. The hit resulted in a yellow card for Nyassi, but after watching taped footage of the foul multiple times, Perkins thinks the card should have been red.
"Especially his angle and the direction he comes from, there's no chance (he can get the ball). And to go studs up is definitely an automatic red, I think," he said. He also described Nyassi's attempt as a "stupid tackle."
Perkins said the hit changed the game for the Timbers, who gave up two goals late in the second half to lose 2-0.
"The amount of blood that came out I think shocked a lot of guys, and having to deal with that certainly changed the momentum of the game," Perkins said.
Timbers head coach John Spencer agrees that the boot to the face should have resulted in harsher punishment for Nyassi.
"That's a stone wall red card for me. I've played the game myself and there's only one reason that you're gonna tackle the goalkeeper like that, and I've done it myself, and that's to do the goalkeeper," Spencer told reporters.
"I like the kid Nyassi, I think he's a lovely kid, I don't think he's a dirty player. That was a bad challenge."
Perkins was fitted for a custom protective face mask yesterday and will wear it Saturday at Jeld-Wen Field if cleared to play against the Columbus Crew.
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