When it comes to the Portland Timbers’ injury woes, it’s one small step forward, one big step back.
Star midfielder Darlington Nagbe – who escaped with only an ankle sprain from a controversial tackle last weekend – is back to training, according to the Oregonian. Winger Dairon Asprilla (foot) also trained Friday coming off a foot injury.
But the good news comes at the same time as some very bad news: starting defender Alvas Powell is now out 6-8 weeks after having wrist surgery, coach Caleb Porter said Friday. The Timbers are already still missing defenders Liam Ridgewell (hamstring) and Andy Thoma (knee).
"We're being tested right now with injuries," Porter told reporters at training Friday. "We're not going to use these things as excuses. We're going to go into the next game and the group that we put out there is going to put out a good performance."
Since Nagbe and Asprilla are doubtful for Saturday’s match against San Jose, that gives Porter a very limited lineup to work with. Also still injured is midfielder Ben Zemanski (groin pull).
The Timbers did catch at least one other break though: midfielder Ned Grabavoy, who took Nagbe's usual spot on Wednesday, will not be banned for a tackle in that game that some fans speculated might result in suspension.