FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The bright lights of the Premier League beckon for Juan Agudelo in January, but the future Stoke City forward remains fixed upon more immediate concerns.
Agudelo continues to work his way back from a right knee sprain suffered in the waning stages of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup quarterfinal defeat at D.C. United on June 26. He accelerated his recovery on Tuesday when he returned to full training with his teammates for the first time since incurring the knock seven weeks ago.
“The knee feels good,” Agudelo told MLSsoccer.com after the session. “I don't want to jinx anything, but, so far, it's fine. We'll see how this week goes.”
Revolution coach Jay Heaps hit the same cautiously optimistic note about his influential forward after watching him proceed through his paces. Heaps said he hopes the 20-year-old continues to make progress over the next few days ahead of Chicago Fire's visit on Saturday.
“He had a good return to full training,” Heaps said. “He started last week with his progression back. With where he is at, we have to be mindful of any setbacks. As long as our medical staff continues to clear him, we're going to keep giving him more work. In terms of fitness and where he is mentally, he's sharp.”
Agudelo's mentality came into question at the moment Stoke City confirmed his signing on Friday. It is natural to turn some attention to the future at this particular stage, but Agudelo insists he remains fully committed to the Revolution and to the task at hand here over the next couple of months.
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His desire to return to the field falls right in line with those statements. Other players in a similar spot might drag out their knocks and wait for the big move to arrive. Agudelo said he itches for a chance to return to the field and help his current teammates make a sustained push for a playoff berth.
“I'm just trying to do what I can do on the field to get back to playing,” Agudelo said. “I like soccer, you know? I want to play soccer. I just want to get out there and play. It's what I enjoy doing.”