The biggest offseason signing for the Portland Timbers was almost certainly Designated Player Jose Adolfo Valencia. The 20-year-old Colombian wasn't necessarily expected to make an immediate impact, but he was supposed to be a building block for years to come. After he was held out for a third consecutive day of training, though, Timbers general manager Gavin Wilkinson told The Oregonian that some "red flags" have been raised about Valencia's health:
"When you make a significant investment (in a player), if there's one or two small red flags, you need to do your homework," Wilkinson said Friday morning. "There may have been a few small red flags that have been raised and we need to make sure that this player is able to fulfill the terms of his contract with the way his body is and his physical talent."
How significant those "red flags" are obviously remains to be seen, but Wilkinson did not give a timetable for Valencia's return. This has to be at least somewhat unsettling and frustrating for the Timbers, who are heading into 2012 with pretty high hopes.
For more on Valencia's situation, be sure to check out Timbers blog Stumptown Footy.