Rosales, Fernandez closing in on full fitness for Seattle

Mauro Rosales - June 23, 2011

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TUKWILA, Wash. – Gearing up for what is arguably their biggest game of 2012 season, the Seattle Sounders are holding out hope they’ll be at their healthiest since First Kick.

Injured midfielders Álvaro Fernández and Mauro Rosales both expressed measured optimism on Monday that they’ll be ready to go when the Sounders host the LA Galaxy on Wednesday night (10 pm ET; watch LIVE online).

“I’m working on it, the pain is still not going away, but I think it will be okay for Wednesday,” Rosales told reporters at training on Monday. “I have inflammation and a little blood in the ankle. I think with pills, I’m doing what I have to do with the medical staff and I’ll check in on Tuesday. It’s going to be good. I was worried that there was something wrong with the bone, but it’s OK.”

That he is still talking about an injury is especially hard to swallow for Rosales. After missing four matches with an injured knee, the Argentine was able to start Saturday’s game in Chicago, but had to come out five minutes into the second half courtesy of a new injury he apparently suffered early in the first.

“I am frustrated that I [didn’t] finish the game,” said Rosales, who has played just 120 minutes and two matches in 2012. “I was working for a month-and-a-half to come back and, after 10 minutes, I was not the same on the field. I couldn’t run free, play what I wanted to play. That pain that I had in the ankle, I couldn’t do anymore than I did. This is what I get frustrated about, not by the kick or anything. Just that I can’t be free to play in the game.”

Fernández, meanwhile, has missed the Sounders’ past two games with an injury to his right quadriceps and only resumed full training on Monday.

“Every day, I’m getting a little bit better, so I’m happy about that,” Fernández said through a translator. “We still have to see. We have a whole day of training tomorrow and we’ll see how that goes, how the injury comes along. Hopefully I’ll be available to play on Wednesday night because it’s an important game.”

Jeremiah Oshan covers the Seattle Sounders for MLSsoccer.com and SB Nation.