Toronto FC expecting to have Robert Earnshaw back, but an injury may sideline Danny Koevermans

Robert Earnshaw

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USA TODAY Sports

TORONTO – When Toronto FC Designated Player Danny Koevermans returned last month from an ACL injury that had kept him out of action for almost an entire year, many Reds supporters immediately started salivating at the prospect of the big Dutchman pairing up with Toronto’s current leading goal scorer Robert Earnshaw up top.

However, the two have yet to be joined, with Earnshaw going down due to a calf injury just when Koevermans had rounded into the type of form necessary for him to work his way into the starting XI.

It’s now looking like TFC fans might have to wait a little bit longer to see a Koevermans-Earnshaw striker pairing in head coach Ryan Nelsen’s starting squad.

After missing his club's last two matches, Earnshaw was looking like he is back to full fitness at training on Tuesday while Koevermans was absent from the pitch as Toronto continued their preparations for Saturday’s match against Sporting Kansas City.

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“Earnshaw is fit and good and looking sharp,” Nelsen told MLSsoccer.com on Tuesday. “He is back and he will be available for selection on Saturday. Koevs kind of felt his calf yesterday at training, so we have to be precautionary with him.”

Said Earshaw: “I feel really good. I trained yesterday, which was a tough session. Today was tough as well but not as tough. My calf feels good. I’m getting there and I’m ready."

With Luis Silva traded to D.C. United on Tuesday, Nelsen will likely turn to a striker pairing of Earnshaw and Jeremy Brockie on Saturday should Koevermans' injury keep him out of the lineup.

As the lone veteran striker that Nelsen had at his disposal for the first several months of the current campaign, the 32-year-old Earnshaw has carried an especially heavy load for TFC. In that vein, the Wales international admitted on Tuesday that a forced break due to a minor injury has actually done him some good.

“I do feel re-energized,” Earnshaw said.” The last couple of weeks have really taken the load off the body and off the legs. Now the last two days have now done me very well in terms of getting back into the swing of things. I’m looking forward to getting back onto the pitch on the weekend.”

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With TFC coming off their highest-scoring match of the season in their 3-3 draw with the Impact in their previous fixture, Earnshaw was also quick to admit that he would like nothing more than to get back into the goalscoring action himself.

“It was tough [watching the Montreal game from the sidelines],” Earnshaw said. “I hate watching, especially if I am injured or something like that. I want to be out there, so it was tough. But it was obviously good to see the team play well. I’m happy that I’m now fit and ready to go.”