BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – The light at the end of the tunnel is growing closer for the injury-plagued Chicago Fire backline, but it's going to be an even tougher battle until they get there.
Right back Logan Pause participated in full practice on Thursday after recovering from a quad injury, although he probably won't be able to play on Saturday against Kansas City (3 pm ET, NBC Sports, live chat on MLSsoccer.com), and coach Frank Klopas said center back Arne Friedrich's could be back by the Fire's April 7 game against New York.
But the backline's injury list just grew a little longer after right back Steven Kinney suffered a quad strain in Saturday's 1-0 loss to New England.
“We're thin in the back,” Klopas said. “You miss someone like Arne, for sure. But there's other guys there. We're going to be looking at opportunities for guys who, long term, are going to be able to help the team.”
Klopas named Wells Thompson and Michael Videira as Kinney's possible replacements. Both players have trained with the defense this year after spending most of their careers in the midfield.
Pause seemed eager to play on Saturday, saying there is “definitely a possibility of playing a role this weekend.” But Klopas didn't seem so gung-ho.
“As much as he wants to, I think he's still not there,” he said. “It's the first day he's trained, so we just have to be smart. The likelihood will be next week.”