SANDY, Utah — Although all three players are inching closer to full training sessions in the near future, Real Salt Lake defenders Chris Wingert and Nat Borchers and midfielder Javier Morales are all out for the team’s season opener against San Jose on Sunday (10 pm ET, MLS Live).
Borchers’ return is perhaps the biggest question mark after the former Best XI defender underwent quadriceps surgery during the first week of January. He has begun training in a limited role and told reporters this week he’s further along in the recovery than expected at this point, but there’s no definitive return date in sight.
"It's too soon because every week is different," he said. "I've really been moving forward the last few weeks and then at the end of last week, things got sore, so I took a step back over the weekend. I'm hitting things hard again this week. It's difficult because I'm doing the technical, knocking the ball around and playing with the guys a little bit, so I'm close, but I still have to be mindful it is a long season and I don't want to injure myself."
RSL Preview: Revamp should keep team in the hunt
Morales has said his goal is to be ready for the team's home-opener on March 16 in the first installment for the 2013 Rocky Mountain Cup against Colorado. He is still recovering from surgery to repair a torn lateral meniscus, and has not seen the training field since his surgery on Feb. 4.
Wingert is the furthest away from seeing the pitch, thanks to a broken metatarsal bone that still has not completely healed. He probably won't see the field until late April, according to an RSL spokesperson.