FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The sight of Benny Feilhaber toiling away during training provided a welcome boost for a New England side in need of an influential midfielder or two ahead of Saturday's matinee with D.C. United (4 pm ET, watch LIVE online).
With Shalrie Joseph ruled out through suspension and Clyde Simms working his way through calf tightness, the Revs could use some reinforcements to increase Jay Heaps' options in central midfield. Feilhaber's potential return from a left peroneal strain would certainly fall into that category.
“That's good [to have him out there],” Revolution coach Jay Heaps told MLSsoccer.com on Wednesday morning. “It's progress. The more we get guys out there training, the harder they make my job on Saturday.”
Feilhaber hasn't featured in the first team since sustaining his current injury in the second half of a 3-0 defeat at Sporting Kansas City on March 17. He missed the next three matches and spent plenty of time in a walking boot as the Revs took a cautious approach with his rehabilitation.
“We knew that it was pretty significant when he had the X-rays on the injury [after the Sporting Kansas City game],” Heaps said. “We just want to make sure he's coming back at the right pace.”
Although Feilhaber remains doubtful for Saturday's match, his ability to take the practice field this week and his desire to return to action could place him in contention for duty against United. Feilhaber fought through an ankle sprain to play in the season opener in San Jose and Heaps noted that he has shown similar resolve as he works his way back from this injury.
Despite the positive signs Feilhaber has already offered this week, Heaps said he planned to wait and see how his playmaker reacted on Thursday and Friday before deciding whether to name him in his squad at the weekend.
“I think he wants to be out here and he's working hard to get out here,” Heaps said. “We'll see as the week unwinds and see where he is. Right now, it'd be nice if we could put him on the lineup card.”