MLS Insider: Tom Bogert

Carles Gil back training with New England Revolution as injury return nears

New England Revolution midfielder Carles Gil is back in training as he nears a return from injury.

Gil, who hasn't featured in an MLS match since July 31 due to a muscle injury, had been rehabbing in Spain the last few weeks with the same specialist who helped him recover ahead of schedule from an Achilles injury last year. But on Monday he was in Foxborough and joined drills with his teammates.

The Spaniard has missed New England's last six games, which the Supporters' Shield-leading Revs navigated admirably with four wins, one draw and one loss.

The 28-year-old had been the overwhelming favorite for 2021's Landon Donovan MLS MVP award before his injury and was on pace to set a new MLS single-season record for assists. The Designated Player currently has 15 assists through 17 matches, nearly double anyone else in the league – fives players are tied in second with eight assists. His 75 chances created remain the most in MLS, while he's also scored twice.

Gil joined the Revs ahead of the 2019 season and has been an instant success. After 10 goals and 14 assists while starting all 34 of their matches that year, he was named MLS Newcomer of the Year. An injury limited him to just four regular-season starts in 2020, but he was back in full form for the playoffs, where he had two goals and three assists to help lead New England to the Eastern Conference Final.

This year, Gil and the Revs have opened a sizable lead atop the Supporters' Shield standings, seven points ahead of second-place Seattle Sounders. The Eastern Conference leaders have 11 games remaining in the regular season as they aim to bring home silverware.