O'Brian White was jogging at practice on Tuesday, the first time he's been seen at Starfire since he underwent emergency surgery to clear a blood clot in his leg, but the exact timetable for his return is still unknown. Seattle Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said there's still a ways to go before White, who was enjoying a bit of a breakout season prior to the surgery, can return to the field.
"They have got to see how he does with a little bit of activity, make sure that there is no coagulation that has taken place and things like that and then they can decide to push him further," said Schmid, noting White has a nasty looking scar on his leg. "It’s a definite step forward. The first stage was biking and he suffered no setbacks so today it was walking and jumping a little bit and we’ll see how he responds to that. Maybe light jogging is in his future in the next couple of days.
"(The doctors) feel they have determined what they think caused it but until he really returns to a heavier amount of activity they can’t determine for sure if that solved the problem."
Previously, it has been estimated that White is still at least a month from returning, but from the sound of Schmid's comments, it could be even longer than that. Schmid could not say for certain whether or not White is off blood thinners yet, which has been said to be one precondition to him returning to the field.
In the seven matches since White last played, the Sounders have used four different forward pairings that have produced just one goal and three assists. The most recent of those featured Nate Jaqua starting alongside Mike Fucito. In the seven matches White played, forwards scored three goals and had four assists.
In other injury-related news, Alvaro Fernandez was also jogging at practice after having to come out of Saturday's match with a muscle injury. There was no particular update given on Fernandez's availability for next Saturday's match against the Chicago Fire.