Good news everyone: Brad Evans should be back this week. The Seattle Sounders captain may not be ready to start and almost certainly can't go a full 90 minutes, but the injury that kept him out of action for the past four games is apparently healed and he's ready to play.
"I think I broke the rowing machine three times the past four weeks just out of frustration," Evans said when asked to assess his overall fitness. "I felt good getting around today. Match fitness comes with obviously playing games. That will come with time. I always feel fit, I kept up with fitness the best I could with the bike and rowing machine."
Evans' frustration is easy enough to understand. After leaving the match against Toronto FC with what he simply deemed a "knock" that ultimately flared up enough to keep him from being fully mobile, Evans expressed a hope that he might not miss any games. But the injury continued to get worse, with Evans saying he was eventually feeling "radiating" pain. A MRI eventually revealed that a he had a hematoma.
"There was also, like, a second injury," Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid said. "That's why it was our feeling that maybe we pushed too hard, he pushed too hard at the start so there was a second little injury that cropped up. That in connection with the first injury was what delayed the process."
Now that Evans appears to be able to contribute again, the Sounders are clearly hopeful that their most vocal on-field leader can help with some of the organizational issues that have plagued them over the past few weeks. Although the Sounders have gone 2-1-1 in Evans' absence, they've also allowed eight goals in their past three games and had some rough patches especially in the midfield.
Where Evans will slot in, though, is not entirely clear. At the start of the year, the belief was that he'd play as a right midfielder in a diamond, but the Sounders have not used that formation since Clint Dempsey rejoined the team at the end of preseason. Still, Evans could provide a nice partnership with DeAndre Yedlin who is spending almost as much time attacking as he is defending.
The other obvious place for him would be to reprise his role as the more attack minded central midfielder. This was the position he played during most of Fredy Montero's time in Seattle and with Dempsey effectively taking over that position, Evans would fit in nicely there.