TUKWILA, Wash. — Three weeks after being forced out of a game with a forearm strain, Seattle Sounders goalkeeper Michael Gspurning returned to full training on Tuesday.
It's still too early to say whether or not he'll be able to start on Saturday against Toronto FC (7 pm ET, watch on MLS Live), but the smile stretching from ear to ear said a great deal about his state of mind.
"It's a great feeling," Gspurning told reporters on Tuesday. "It was the first real session for me today. It was a good hour-and-a-half. I'm feeling good. Of course I need to time to feel back in the rhythm and see if the hand is stable. But it looks good and that's the positive for the day."
Gspurning suffered the injury against the San Jose Earthquakes on July 13 when he dove to save a ball and Steven Lenhart came in hard, kicking the goalkeeper's arm.
"Maybe I should decide next time to just punch it wide and make it look more spectacular and I would not have the chance to get injured," Gspurning joked.
Although the big Austrian was able to finish out the first half, he said it was with limited feeling in his right hand. By halftime, the pain was so severe that he was unable to put on his gloves.
Gspurning insisted that he doesn't hold any ill will toward Lenhart, but also made it clear he felt the injury was avoidable.
"I think he could have stopped," Gspurning said. "It's OK now, I don't blame him. We know what kind of player he is, he's always giving 100 percent and playing aggressively. I was out for three weeks and he celebrated a goal one week later. It's tough, but it's part of the game. I'm over it and don't feel bad."
If Gspurning is unable to go, Marcus Hahnemann would likely get a second consecutive start. But with Hahnemann still recovering from his own injury, the Sounders have decided to keep Phoenix FC loanee Andrew Weber around for at least another week.