When Xherdan Shaqiri limped out in the19th minute of the Chicago Fire's 0-0 draw with FC Dallas, there was a collective pause as supporters worried about their star man.
Shaqiri hasn't exactly made a blistering start to life with the Fire, scoring a solitary penalty across his first four appearances. But he has the ability to split a defense or come up with the spectacular in a way no other Fire player has. He'll be key in maintaining the club's fine start to the 2022 season.
The Switzerland international sustained a calf injury against Dallas and while head coach Ezra Hendrickson calmed fears regarding a long-term absence, he has revealed Shaqiri is 'day-to-day' and yet to return to training.
"Shaqiri is day-to-day," Hendrickson told reporters on Wednesday. "That's something we are monitoring because it's a calf injury and we want to be careful because he's a very important player for us. So, we don't want to rush that back too soon. We are monitoring that and he’s day-to-day for right now."
Hendrickson added: "He's not in training. He has not trained this week. We gave the guys a couple days off. Today was our first day with the full team back training but he did not train today.
Thankfully, Hendrickson was able to share that scans revealed no serious damage and that Shaqiri simply 'felt tightness' in his calf and didn't want to risk further injury.
"Yes, but nothing serious is wrong with the calf," Hendrickson responded when asked if Shaqiri had undergone scans. "He just felt some tightness, but you know we want to make sure that because he did play a couple of games the week before leading up to Dallas, in the international break, so we just want to make sure that that thing is rested and he's healthy enough when he does."
Up next for the Fire is a trip to Orlando City this weekend. Although he'll do his best to mitigate Shaqiri's absence, Hendrickson gave an honest assessment about how much they'll miss the former Liverpool man.
"We will lose some creativity if he's not on the pitch because he's that big of a player and he's that important of a player for us," he admitted. "Once Guti (Brian Gutiérrez) came into the game on Saturday, we didn't change anything. So, don’t expect anything to change.
"We will still try to play the same way that we always try to play. We may not be as effective because of the quality of Shaq, but I thought when Guti came on, he did a very good job for us in that position. So, we won't change anything tactically."