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Sounders await word on defender Ianni after bizarre injury

TUKWILA, Wash. – Before the 2013 season even started, a constant annoyance from 2012 for Seattle returned to rear its head – the Sounders are once more dealing with an injury to a key player.

This time, it’s Patrick Ianni, who opened training camp as one of the presumed starters at center back. Ianni missed his second straight day of training after injuring his left foot during a jump test and was spotted wearing a protective boot and using crutches.

“That's a first. That's a history maker,” Schmid said about the nature of Ianni’s injury. “I don't know how anybody injures himself on the jump test, but he did. Landed funny, I guess. So we've just got to wait and see what the MRI says."

READ: A Sounder again, Neagle says he returns a better player

The severity of the injury is still unknown with Ianni was scheduled to undergo an MRI on Monday.

If Ianni is out for an extended period, that would expose one area where Seattle don’t have much depth. Although they have signed outside back DeAndre Yedlin to a Homegrown contract and selected Eriq Zavaleta with the No. 10 pick in the SuperDraft, the Sounders really haven’t added any veterans who could replace Jeff Parke, who was traded to Philadelphia.

Parke was the team’s two-time reigning Defensive Player of the Year and had played more minutes than any other defender since joining the Sounders in 2010.

Still, Schmid maintained that Zach Scott’s presence will keep the team from feeling forced to add another defender.

“We drafted Zavaleta primarily as a center back – this definitely keeps him back there,” Schmid said. “Zach Scott can play inside as well. So, Zach, we’re really looking at him playing more inside this year than outside, because we figured we have [Adam] Johansson and DeAndre on the right. It just means Zach will move up into the lineup. I don’t think it pressures us into a move yet.”