Injury Report

Clint Dempsey fully cleared to return to action for Seattle Sounders opener

Clint Dempsey - Seattle Sounders - in training on day one of 2017 preseason

When the Seattle Sounders begin their MLS Cup title defense this weekend, they will likely do so with Clint Dempsey back in uniform.

Sounders general manager Garth Lagerwey told reporters on Tuesday that Dempsey is fully cleared to return to action following a lengthy spell on the sidelines. Dempsey was diagnosed with a heart condition late last summer and has not featured for the club since August 21.

The 33-year-old US national team striker, who began competing in games again this preseason, said exactly two weeks ago that he was 85-90 percent fit. While he should be even closer to peak fitness now, there is no guarantee that he is immediately inserted back into the starting lineup by head coach Brian Schmetzer. Nonetheless, just having him back is a boost for Seattle.

The Sounders begin their quest for back-to-back MLS Cup titles on Saturday when they visit the Houston Dynamo in their 2017 season opener (8:30 pm ET; MLS LIVE)