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Despite injury, FCD stalwart John likely back in the mix

FRISCO, Texas — Defender George John has dealt with a nagging groin injury all week, but he’s expected to be back in the lineup when FC Dallas play host to the New England Revolution on Saturday (8:30 pm ET, MatchDay Live).

The defensive stalwart injured his groin in the final minutes of FCD’s 1-0 away win versus Seattle Sounders FC last Wednesday and failed a pregame fitness test three days later in Houston against the Dynamo.

“It’s feeling better than it was 10 days ago in Seattle, so that’s good and I’m making progress,” John said Friday. “The team needs me out there, so I’m going to go out there and do what I can.”

John trained with the first team Friday on the stadium field at Pizza Hut Park, running through set piece drills and a brief scrimmage.

“He’s fine,” FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman said. “I would say if we had to put a percentage on him, he’s about 85 to 90 percent, which is huge, considering in Houston he was only 70 to 75 percent."

John’s usual center back partner, Ugo Ihemelu, lined up at right back in training Friday, with rookie Bobby Warshaw and Colombian Jair Benítez manning the left side of defense.

Defender Zach Loyd, meanwhile, watched from the sidelines Friday, riding a stationary bike before completing a fitness test with FCD trainers. He suffered a bruised shin on his left leg after colliding with Brek Shea on a 50-50 ball during training on Wednesday.

“I felt pretty good today,” Loyd said. “I just went through some pregame testing to see how it felt and I think I passed everywhere. It felt well, but still it kind of hurts. If they need me I’ll be available.”

Added Hyndman, “He took a pretty good knock to the shin and I think the joints and everything are fine, it’s just pain tolerance."