The Cali Condors will be racing shorthanded in this weekend’s ISL playoff match, as the club is opting to rest superstar sprinter Caeleb Dressel.
Dressel has been under the weather since he arrived in Eindhoven last week, according to Cali Condor general manager Jason Lezak, and the team is choosing to rest him in order to have him at his best come the ISL Final in one week’s time.
“Caeleb came down with a cold when he arrived last week and we have decided to rest him for the finals for optimum performance,” Lezak told SwimSwam.
“Although he will be listed as a relay-only swimmer since we only have 14 on our roster, we don’t have intentions to use him at this time. He has also tested negative for Covid prior to departure and this week as well so we are confident he will be able to swim next week.”
While Dressel is a massive loss for the Condors, it doesn’t really impact their hopes of winning a second consecutive ISL championship. Cali has all but locked up a spot in next week’s final, and have proven they can perform well without last season’s MVP in the lineup, including earning a victory in the first playoff match over Energy Standard despite his absence.
What is far more crucial for the Condors is that Dressel gets back to top form, or at least close to it, as they have a tough test in front of them with Energy Standard and London Roar both looking phenomenal in the fifth playoff match that wrapped up on Friday.
Dressel swam well during the regular season, winning 10 individual events and one skins race, but he only raced in two and a half of the four matches and flew home from Naples early after reportedly not feeling well.
After missing the first playoff match in Eindhoven, the 25-year-old returned to competition for the first time in two months last weekend, but was clearly nowhere near his best. The Condors didn’t even enter him in the 100 free, 50 fly or 100 fly, and he only finished third in the men’s 50 free while picking up one individual win in the 100 IM.
Dressel’s Playoff Match 4 Times (2021 Regular Season Best)
- 50 free – 21.04 (20.67)
- 100 IM – 51.67 (50.68)
- 100 free relay split – 47.26 (45.01)
- 100 fly relay split – 49.60 (48.81)
The only thing that’s really left to be determined in the sixth playoff match this weekend is if the LA Current will join Cali, Energy Standard and London Roar in the league final, which looks to be a near-lock even without Dressel in the lineup. The Toronto Titans would need to pull off a gargantuan upset over the Condors to spoil LA’s party and make the final.