Luis Silva racing to regain fitness in time for Toronto FC's home opener

TORONTO — Coming off an impressive rookie season, TFC attacking midfielder Luis Silva could only watch as his teammates fell 1-0 to the Whitecaps in their season opener this past Saturday.

Suffering from a hamstring injury, the 24-year-old Los Angeles native did not travel with his team to the West Coast last weekend, remaining in Toronto to get treatment.

Silva is now hoping that the work that he and Toronto’s medical staff have done over the past week will pay dividends and enable him to return to the lineup for Toronto’s home opener against Sporting Kansas City (1:30 pm ET, TSN/RDS2).

“I’m hoping to be back to full training on Friday and to be ready to go on Saturday against Kansas City,” Silva told MLSsoccer.com on Wednesday. “It’s one of those injuries where I do have to take my time with it and make sure that it is 100 percent healed, but I’m hoping I will be ready to go this weekend.”

MLS Match Recap: Vancouver Whitecaps 1, Toronto FC 0

A return to active duty for Saturday’s home fixture would give Reds head coach Ryan Nelsen another attacking option to choose from as his side seeks its first goal of the 2013 campaign. It would also allow the No. 4 overall pick in the 2012 SuperDraft to return to the site at which he scored his first professional goal.

Silva made his pro debut for Toronto FC on March 7, 2012, against the LA Galaxy in the 2011-12 CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals and made an immediate positive impression on TFC supporters with a solid performance that set the tone for his first MLS campaign.

Toronto played that match indoors at the Rogers Centre and will return to the multipurpose stadium in downtown Toronto for their clash with Sporting on Saturday afternoon.

READ: "Toronto FC will only get better," Ryan Nelsen says after debut loss

“I have a lot of good memories from that game,” Silva said. “I scored a goal and it was a positive start to my professional career.”

Regardless of whether or not he returns to the pitch against Kansas City, the UC Santa Barbara product is clearly raring to go, aiming to build on a strong rookie campaign in which he scored five goals and added five assists in 30 league appearances.

“I certainly learned a lot last year about the league and what I need to do in order to be successful at this level,” Silva said. “At the same time, I know I still have a lot to learn and I’m really looking forward to learning under the new coaches here in Toronto.”