CARSON, Calif. — At a glance, it might be difficult to tell what exactly Oswaldo Minda’s injury is.
Chivas USA’s standout defensive midfielder has been training on the side since last week without noticeably favoring anything. While he has not yet been deemed fit enough to play, the fact that Minda has almost overcome a dislocated shoulder in such a short amount of time is encouraging to the player.
“I feel happy because I’ve been able to do some physical work and I feel really good,” Minda told MLSsoccer.com. “I’ve been able to cut down on the usual time of recovery. Typically this injury requires six to eight weeks, and in three weeks, I’m almost ready.”
Minda injured his shoulder during a scrimmage on July 14, just before the club embarked on a critical stretch of games. Minda missed two games against Portland and one against rivals the LA Galaxy. While Chivas held their own druing that stretch — beating Portland both times and losing to LA — Minda had previously proved an integral part of the midfield.
His presence would provide a lift this weekend when the Rojiblancos face the Galaxy again in in the third and final installment of the SuperClasico this year (Sunday, 11 pm ET, ESPN2).
“I’ve recovered all of my mobility in my arm, my shoulder and I feel strong because I’ve worked on regaining the strength there over the last three weeks,” Minda said. “Hopefully by Thursday, I will be able to train and then we’ll see how I feel, to see if I’m ready to play or if I still need some more time to recover.
Chivas USA are currently seven points behind LA in the standings, with four games in hand, which gives this weekend's match even more meaning than usual — it's a crucial six-pointer. But for Minda, whether it's a derby or not is irrelevant.
“For me, all games are clasicos,” Minda said. “I play every game like it’s the final game of my career. I enjoy soccer a great deal and that’s always been beneficial for me and has helped me be productive.”
Luis Bueno covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com and can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.