TUKWILA — It was decidedly a mixed bag on the injury front for the Seattle Sounders Monday, with coach Brian Schmetzer revealing that Nicolas Lodiero had undergone knee surgery. There was a significant silver lining to that dark cloud of an announcement, though, as the return of Jordan Morris appears to be closer than ever.
Schmetzer has tried to tamp down expectations a bit for Morris’ timeline, but the Sounders attacker has been increasing his training workload over the last few weeks. He was at it again in training on Monday, mixing it up with his teammates as a neutral participant. Morris also continues to get in additional work after training, doing shooting drills and activities he’ll need to refine as he comes off his rehabilitation from ACL surgery.
“He’s coming along great. He’s on a medical timeline as well,” Schmetzer said. “Once he gets a few more training sessions in, we’ll open him up to full training but he’s getting closer.”
The fact that Morris even has a chance to return this year is encouraging, given the prognosis after his surgery in March. While recovery from ACL surgery can take as little as six months, his injury was termed more serious than his previous ACL injury prior to the start of the 2018 season, which caused him to miss that entire season.
“I don’t think it’s likely that he’s going to play for us this year,” Lagerwey told Sounders Weekly at the time. “It’s theoretically possible, but this knee injury was a little more serious than the first one. We gotta be patient. This is a kid in the prime of his career.”
Still, the Sounders never put Morris on the season-ending injury list, which would have made him ineligible to return this year. While the Sounders may have been skeptical that he could in fact return for any portion of the season, it has been seven months since the surgery, and Morris appears to have put in the work.
“I’d put him into full training, but I’m not a doctor,” Schmetzer said on Monday. “He looks like he’s ready, he’s a competitive kid, he’s itching to play. His longterm health is what’s most important so they have to go through that whole protocol. We’ll ramp him up and get to fully training, and as soon as he’s in full training he’ll be ready to go.