Sporting defender Sinovic aims for return this weekend

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Sporting Kansas City left back Seth Sinovic insists he’ll be ready to return from injury and make the starting XI for Saturday’s match at Chicago (8:30 pm ET, watch LIVE online).

SKC head coach Peter Vermes, however, isn’t quite so sure.

“Working him back into training? Yeah, we’ll see how that goes,” Vermes told MLSsoccer.com after Monday’s training session. “What happens on the weekend, I honestly have no idea.”

Monday marked the first time Sinovic has trained since he broke his right hand in the second half of Sporting’s 1-0 loss to the Portland Timbers on April 21. He underwent surgery during Kansas City’s bye week and spent last week doing drills and fitness work, but did not take part in the team’s scrimmages.

“It’s always nice to be able to get back out and practice,” said Sinovic, who wore a cast that covered his right hand and forearm. “Hopefully, I can get more comfortable with the cast on as the days go on. It’s a really lightweight cast – can’t be more than a pound or two – so I hardly notice it.”

Still, Sinovic said, it’s not quite business as usual.

“The only issue that I’m getting used to is when I’m checking somebody with the arm a little bit,” he said. “Right now, it’s kind of unnatural, but as the practice went on I got more and more comfortable.”

Though the regular Sporting left back took part in Monday’s scrimmage, the outing came on a short field, and Vermes is reserving judgment until he sees how Sinovic performs on a larger scale.

“It’s one thing playing small-sided games,” he said. “It’s another thing playing 11-v-11, how he’s able to do over long stretches of the field, whether his balance is there.”

If Sinovic can’t go, Michael Harrington is likely to get a second straight nod in replacement after going the full 90 in last weekend’s 2-0 loss to Montreal.

“His possession was very good,” Vermes said of Harrington. “His entry ball out of the back was really good. … He made good decisions in where he played the ball. I thought defensively he was locked in, didn’t really give anything away. All of that was good stuff.”

Steve Brisendine covers Sporting Kansas City for MLSsoccer.com.