Alvaro Fernandez could be back sooner than expected. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-US PRESSWIRE
If there's something that's become clear it's that the Seattle Sounders FC can use this bye week to get closer to full health. When the week is done the schedule gets three games in quickly, so the recently tested depth will still be important. While a handful of players are out for an extended period of time, some are likely to make at least partial returns from the injury report shortly.
Both players participated in training and the plan is for them to play some of the 60-minute scrimmage against the University of Washington on Saturday. Sigi was happy about their progress. In the drills they were moving well. There is also no need to hurry them back when the next game isn't for some time.
He jogged and did bicycle work. Sigi Schmid described his return to fitness work as more than expected. There is some hesitancy to push too hard though;
We don't want to push it because we don't have a game this week. We'll see about pushing it next week. They felt pretty good. They put him through a good leg workout today so we're hoping the beginning of next week that he'll be able to participate in training.
He's not 100% game fit yet, but is 100% training fit and can clearly take the field. When will that full level of sharpness and game ready come? Sigi answers;
For him it's just a matter of getting the timing. For him to be able to train every day is good. That helps his timing. The best Eddie Johnson we're going to see is probably in the middle of May or the second week of May.
Best in this case would be when you're seeing him fit and and in sync with his teammates from getting in a couple full healthy weeks of practice. EJ7 used a hesitation/step-over to blow past a tight marking Zach Scott to create a short pass across the goal mouth in practice today.
While it isn't yet certain that he's going to play against Chivas USA in Monday's Reserve game, it does seem likely according to Sigi's statement.
We're thinking about the Reserve game possibly. We didn't want him to play against LA because we could use that for another three day fitness cycle for him. He went through that. If he feels up to it and he feels good and there's no setbacks the Chivas game might be a good one for him to come on, play a few minutes and for us to evaluate again where he's at.
During today's 8 v 8 practice games Zakuani put in a few moves, worked in crowded spaces and showed that his ball control is fairly close to where it was.
Longer Term Injuries