KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Jacob Peterson spent the month of August letting his sprained right shoulder heal. His plan now is to spend the first two weeks of September shaking off the rust and getting fit for his planned return.
Peterson, still wearing a black brace on his shoulder, took part in a full training session with Sporting Kansas City on Tuesday. But while he hopes to be match-ready when his club returns from a two-week break with a home date against Houston on Sept. 14, no one's making any promises.
"Nothing's really been set," the winger told MLSsoccer.com. "We're just sticking to the plan that we had from the get-go, with Peter (Vermes, Sporting's manager) and the training staff. It's a progression. Every day I'm doing a bit more. As long as there's no setbacks, hopefully I'll be back sooner rather than later."
Peterson, who has missed five league matches since he was hurt in a 2-1 home loss to Columbus on July 28, had hoped to make a faster comeback but said he understood the club's cautious approach.
"If I came back too early and hurt it again, it might be one of those things where I'm out for the season," he said. "So we wanted to take our time, build up and really sort of ease into it. So far, it's really been good."
Peterson, who had three goals and was in solid midseason form when he went down, earned solid marks from Vermes in Tuesday's training.
"On the first play of the game, he got cracked and rolled over," Vermes said. "He got back up with no problem. He was good."
Peterson was glad for the full-contact test, even if it did make him a bit leery at the time.
"It was the first one I've had" since getting hurt, Peterson said. "So obviously as I was falling down, I was a little nervous, but it was fine. I didn't feel it at all."
In addition to working back into the hard-knock aspects of the game, Peterson will also spend the next two weeks getting his match legs back.
"It's going to be a matter of fitness for him," Vermes said. "We'll see how he is physically toward the end of the week, as he gets knocked around a little bit more. The big things are how he recovers from the everyday training and how he responds with his shoulder."
Steve Brisendine covers Sporting Kansas City for MLSsoccer.com.