Whatever has been ailing Sporting Kansas City striker Alan Pulido appears to be slowly fading in the rearview mirror, but not enough so that the Mexican star could return to the field in Saturday afternoon's match against FC Dallas (3:30 pm ET | Univision/TUDN, Twitter, MLS LIVE on DAZN in Canada).
Pulido remains off the gameday roster for the afternoon tilt, extending his absence to four consecutive games. But he returned to full team training this week, manager Peter Vermes said during his most recent media availability.
"He’s been doing a lot of individual training, he trained with the team today, and so he’s been working really hard and he’s progressing really well," Vermes said Friday, referencing Pulido among several injured players on his squad. "The fact that he’s training with the team is a good thing. Most of the guys now are ready to be included for selection, so that’s kind of where it sits with him and all the other guys."
The nature of Pulido's absence hadn't been entirely clear, though Vermes attempted to explain that as well.
"He played every single minute of every single game up to a certain point. We needed to give him a break, so we did," Vermes explained. "And what happened was he had a little bit of a strain. It was more of a nerve in his hamstring. And it escalated to quite an extreme. And so we just didn’t want to push it to where it would become a pull or a tear, which in turn would’ve been a lot longer than it has been up until now. We’ve just been a little bit more cautious with it. We want to make sure when he comes back he’s 100% ready."
Pulido has three goals and four assists in the league for SKC, though he hasn't found the net in regular season since July 17.