The talk of Columbus Crew SC this year has been the team's offensive cohesiveness. Striker Kei Kamara joined the attacking trio of Federico Higuain, Justin Meram, and Ethan Finlay this season and the foursome has created one of the most dangerous and fun to watch offensive groups in Major League Soccer.
Seventy-five minutes into Friday night's 2-2 draw with the Chicago Fire, one of those pieces went down.
After cutting across the top of the Fire penalty area, Finlay was hacked down by Chicago center back Adailton. Finlay remained in the game for the ensuing free kick, but quickly dropped to the ground as play continued.
After Columbus' trainer took a look at the winger, Finlay was substituted for Kristinn Steindorsson.
"He's hurt; his foot is hurt," head coach Gregg Berhalter said after the match. "We will have to get an assessment tomorrow and see how bad it is but he couldn't continue on."
After having the weekend off, Berhalter confirmed on Tuesday at Crew SC's first training session of the week that Finlay had a broken toe. The good news is, Berhalter believes the winger will be able to continue playing despite the injury.
"I think so," Berhalter said when asked if Finlay would be able to go. "I think he should be able to.
"We'll probably hold him out tomorrow [international friendly with Valencia]. He was limited in training too. It's still serious, but thankfully it's not really bad."
Finlay sat on the far sideline at Crew SC's EAS Training Center while his team scrimmaged during the final portion of practice. The winger, who left MAPFRE Stadium on crutches Friday night, walked to the locker room on his own, wearing cleats and showing signs of having trained.
According to Berhalter, Finlay did "three-quarters of the training."
While he likely won't be involved against Valencia, Finlay could play against Orlando City SC on Saturday. Whether he comes off the bench, plays from the start, or is held out for the match, it sounds like a key cog in the Crew SC's attack is better than many expected when he needed help off the field on Friday.