Arne Friedrich cautiously returns to Chicago Fire training, but 2013 debut still unclear

Arne Friedrich trains with the Chicago Fire

Photo Credit: 
Courtesy of the Chicago Fire

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – A little time away from Chicago did wonders for Arne Friedrich.

The Fire defender said he's pain-free after spending two weeks in Germany to rehab his injured hamstring with physical therapist Thomas Fennewald, who he's worked with throughout his career.

Friedrich ran and worked with the ball at Fire training on Wednesday, but he doesn't know when he'll return to the lineup.

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"I don't have pain anymore,” Friedrich said on Wednesday, a day after arriving in Chicago. “So I guess we can celebrate every day a little bit. The most important for me is that no pain is left, and this is very good.”

The Fire defense has had a difficult time playing without Friedrich during the first four games of the season, giving up four goals on two occasions.

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Head Coach Frank Klopas previously targeted the Fire's next game, an April 7 contest against New York, for Friedrich's return, but the former German international wouldn't give a time frame as to when he'll play. He won't take part in Friday's exhibition against Minnesota United FC of the NASL.

“We will see,” he said. “Today was my first practice and everything went fantastic, and we will see how my body reacts when we accelerate a little bit. I don't want to state anything today. First and foremost, I'm happy that everything is fine now.”