Real Salt Lake's Javier Morales, Nat Borchers inching closer to full return to action
SANDY, Utah — Real Salt Lake are inching closer to full strength.
Veterans Nat Borchers, Javier Morales and Chris Wingert have all been on the sidelines for RSL's first two games to open the 2013 MLS season dealing with various injuries. Wingert is definitely still out of Saturday’s Rocky Mountain Cup clash with Colorado (6 pm ET; MLS Live) because of a broken bone in his foot, but Borchers and Morales were both a part of training on Tuesday.
"They're coming along," RSL coach Jason Kreis told reporters at Tuesday's training. "Both of them went through full training sessions today. Nat trained fully as if he was any other player. Javier we kept as a neutral player – meaning that he gets some protection from having to defend and make movements according to other player's movements. Both are coming along. I think Nat is probably a little bit ahead of Javier right now."
Borchers had trained some before, mainly working through some of the technical drills. He was obviously excited to be able to do more.
"It was my first full day without restrictions," he said at Tuesday's training. "It's been a long time coming. Just watching the guys play and train and not being out there with them has been tough, so getting this first day in has been a big step for me."
So how soon will he be back on the pitch?
"I'd like to say ASAP. That's really all I know because every day is different," he continued. "Today was a great day, but we'll see how my body reacts tomorrow. Then, I'll have to get my game fitness back."
Kreis said it is too early to tell whether either will be in contention for the 18-man roster for Saturday's game. That he’s even considering it, however, has to be seen as a positive.
"I think it's tough for anybody coming back from injury, surgery," said Borchers. "It's always tough to get back to your full fitness. You just have to make sure you put the extra work in that you didn't get to in the preseason. So I have to do that and prove to the coaches that I'm ready."