CARSON, Calif. — For most of July, the news for Juan Agudelo has not been good.
A swollen knee banished him to the sidelines and kept the 19-year-old from playing in any games this month.
However, the chance to make one final appearance before the month ends has seemingly presented itself. Agudelo returned to training this week and expressed optimism about his chances of playing in the Red-and-White’s match at Portland on Saturday (11 pm ET, watch on MLS LIVE).
“It’s all up to the training staff and the coaching staff, but I feel great,” Agudelo told MLSsoccer.com.
Agudelo only joined Chivas in May but quickly became a fixture in the group, playing five league matches and eight total appearances across all competitions. He last played for Chivas in their US Open Cup quarterfinal win over Charlotte on June 26. Earlier this year, Agudelo had knee surgery and the heavy minutes he’d seen with Chivas likely contributed to his issues.
Watching Chivas play without him has not been easy for Agudelo.
“I’m really frustrated to be on the sideline and watch my team and play the game without me being able to help them,” he said. “I’m just excited to get back out on the field with my team. It felt great this week, training. It’s been a little while and just looking forward to what comes and forgetting about my injury.”
Ultimately, though, having been forced to sit idly on the sidelines may have been a blessing, at least when focusing on the long haul.
“I thought the two- to three-week rest was much needed because my knee was getting a little mad at me for pushing it a little too much at times," he said. "I feel refreshed. My body is refreshed and I’m ready for the second half of the season.”
Luis Bueno covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com. E-mail him at email@example.com.