Montreal Impact getting closer to full health with CB Nelson Rivas nearing return to action

MONTREAL – Caution is still the order of the day for injured Montreal Impact players, but they’re showing promise.

While Sanna Nyassi continues to ride a stationary bike – though without the brace that had been protecting the left knee he injured on opening night in Dallas – center backs Adrián López and Nelson Rivas, as yet inactive this season due to lower body injuries, exchanged passes away from the main group at training on Tuesday.

Out since mid-February with a right thigh injury sustained in Florida, Rivas is “very close” to taking part in full sessions with his teammates, according to head coach Frank Klopas.

“Again, with [Rivas], we just have to be smart,” Klopas told reporters after training on Tuesday. “He’s probably going to be on the field very soon training with the guys. The turf obviously is something that I have to consider with him and a little bit with his history, but in a little bit, we’ll be on grass, playing. But he’s very close.”

Though he did play one game last season – the Impact’s 3-0 playoff defeat at the Houston Dynamo on Oct. 31 – Rivas’ next regular season outing will be his first since a 3-1 Montreal loss at Klopas’ Chicago Fire on September 15, 2012.

López, meanwhile, will have to revise his projections regarding a return, as he had hoped to be back training with his teammates in early April after undergoing surgery in late October 2013 to repair a right ACL tear suffered on Sept. 3.

“Adrián is a little bit further down the line,” Klopas said. “He’s four-and-a-half-months post-surgery, so he’s working hard every day. It’s better and better. But it's going to take a little bit longer than Nelson.”

López, who only played 44 CONCACAF Champions League minutes for Montreal last season after joining in the summer, has yet to make his MLS debut.