Terry Dunfield is ready to return, but is there room for him in Toronto FC's starting lineup?

TORONTO — After enduring his first extended period on the sidelines due to injury since he arrived in MLS, Toronto FC midfielder Terry Dunfield is ready to get back on the field and help his team get back on a winning track.

“The plan is to play in the reserve game against Pittsburgh on Friday night,” Dunfield told MLSsoccer.com. “I’m excited and hopefully all of the hard work in the gym will pay off. I look forward to getting back and helping the guys.”

The Canadian international has missed Toronto’s last nine league fixtures and has not played since Toronto earned a 2-2 draw against the LA Galaxy on March 30.

“It was sort of a crappy injury in training,” Dunfield said. “I landed on a straight leg and the knee kind of hyperextended a bit. There was no serious damage, but I strained my knee. It probably takes 5-6 weeks to get over it and then 2-3 weeks to get back up to match fitness.”

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“I’m champing at the bit now and, if things go well Friday night, I’ll be available for D.C. United away [June 15].”

But since Dunfield went down to injury, competition for playing time in Toronto’s midfield has only increased, with youngster Jonathan Osorio impressing greatly, Jeremy Hall solidifying his place in the starting eleven and Designated Player Matias Laba signing with the team in late April.

However, with Toronto currently on a 12-game winless streak, the 31-year-old Dunfield only has one thing on his mind.

“Whether I have to bide my time or whenever the gaffer feels right to use me, he knows he’ll get 100 percent from me,” he said. “The most important thing is to help Toronto to win.”

Steve Bottjer covers Toronto FC for MLSsoccer.com.