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Nicolas Lodeiro enters ‘health and safety protocols’, unavailable for Austin FC match

It had looked likely that Lodeiro would be available this week.

MLS: Nashville SC at Seattle Sounders FC Stephen Brashear-USA TODAY Sports

Just when it looked like Nicolás Lodeiro was nearing a return came news that he was again out, this time due to the so-called “health and safety protocols.” Lodeiro had trained with the Sounders on Tuesday in Seattle, but did not make the trip to Mexico, the team announced shortly before kickoff on Thursday.

While the “health and safety protocols” can indicate a number of things, it is most commonly associated with testing positive for Covid-19. Lodeiro also missed the early part of training camp a few months ago while clearing similar protocols upon his return from Uruguay.

Lodeiro has logged 169 minutes across all competitions this season, but has not played since coming on at halftime in the MLS opener on Feb. 28 after suffering an adductor strain that was unrelated to the knee issues that kept him out most of last year. Lodeiro’s best performance this year came in the home match against Motagua, in which he had a goal and an assist while playing 61 minutes.

Assuming he has no more setbacks, Lodeiro should be available when the Sounders return from the upcoming international break with a road game against Minnesota United on April 2.