April 27, 2019 Atlanta - Atlanta United midfielder Ezequiel Barco (8) gets tackled by Colorado Rapids midfielder Sam Nicholson (28) during the second half in a MLS soccer match at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Saturday, April 27, 2019. Atlanta United won 1-0 over the Colorado Rapids. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

Atlanta United patient with trio of injured players

It doesn’t appear that Ezequiel Barco, Hector Villalba or George Bello will be rejoining Atlanta United soon, based upon manager Frank de Boer’s statements on Tuesday.

As he has said for the past few weeks, de Boer said that Barco (knee) is progressing but doesn’t know if he will be available for the next game.

Barco didn’t train with the first team on Tuesday ahead of Wednesday’s game against Houston at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The team will host D.C. United on Sunday. 

Barco, 20, has four goals and one assist in eight league appearances. He suffered his injury when kicked in the knee by a Columbus player in the U.S. Open Cup.

De Boer said that Villalba (knee) and Bello (adductor) are on similar timelines of recovery, but didn’t provide a return date.

Villalba, 24, has one goal and three assists in 11 appearances. He suffered his injury in the game at New York Red Bulls on May 19.

Bello, 17, has yet to play in a league game this season. 

“Still a lot of games coming up,” de Boer said. “If you are going to put them in, they have to be 100 percent. You don’t want them to fall back directly.

“We are not rushing. We won’t them back soon because of injuries we have right now. Still, main target is always the health of the player. You gain nothing when he’s back for one game and then four weeks out.”

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