The good news for FC Dallas is that striker Carlos Ruiz looks set to return to the starting 11 this weekend against the Kansas City Wizards after missing last weekend's divisional clash with Colorado because of a hamstring injury.
Of course, while the likely return of the Hoops' top assist man so far in 2006 is music to their ears, it is just the opposite to FCD's opponents.
Ruiz participated in training on Tuesday and is ready to reclaim his starting spot.
"I feel much better," he said. "I think I am at 80-85 percent. With the long week this week, playing on Sunday, we have time for more recuperation. That will give me more time to get sharp and be at 100 percent for this week's game."
Still, FC Dallas head coach Colin Clarke has a wait-and-see attitude heading into the Sunday contest against the league's only team still with a perfect record.
"We knew it (his hamstring) was going to be touch and go for the weekend but we're lucky enough to have an extra day," he said. "So that's good. I think he tweaked his hamstring but was out of alignment with his hips and his back and that's been put in place. That gives relief to the hamstring. We've got our fingers crossed that he could be available for the weekend. He joined in a bit today."
Since coming into the league in 2002, Ruiz has scored 61 goals in 93 matches, second only to Taylor Twellman's 64 goals scored over the same length of time. Yet the Guatemalan marksman has yet to find the net this season -- recording an assist in each of the first two FC Dallas games this year before missing last weekend's game against the Rapids -- something he would greatly like to change in front of a national television audience on Sunday afternoon at Pizza Hut Park and spark his club to a third home win on the season.
Steve Hunt is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.