KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Winger Sal Zizzo has been cleared to return to action for Sporting Kansas City, after missing the Eastern Conference co-leaders' last two matches with a groin strain.
Zizzo trained at full speed on Monday and should be available for Wednesday's home match against Philadelphia (8:30 pm ET, MLS Live), manager Peter Vermes told MLSsoccer.com.
“He was pretty good last week, before we left to go to [Saturday's 3-0 away win at] Montreal,” Vermes said. “But with the three games in such a short period of time, I didn't think it was smart to try to rush him, because then, where do you use him? I just wanted to make sure he was 100 percent, but he's looking really good.”
Zizzo, who came over from Portland in an offseason trade, has quickly established himself as Vermes' first choice on the right wing. He appeared in Sporting's first seven league matches, starting six of them, before sustaining the strain in the second half of Sporting's 2-0 loss at New England on April 26 as he stretched too far for a ball.
“I think I played it smart with coming out,” Zizzo, who has two assists with his new club, said on Monday. “Usually, I'm a pretty quick healer and haven't had too many muscle injuries to date. I feel like I recovered pretty quickly.”
Zizzo's return comes as Sporting are preparing for the loss of winger Graham Zusi and center back Matt Besler to World Cup duty with the US national team – and for a crowded schedule heading into the league's break for group-stage play. Neither of those things led to any pressure to come back early, though.
“I think it's still a long season,” Zizzo said. “If I wasn't ready, then I think I would need to take some more time. But I really feel like I'm all in. I'm ready to go.”