Houston Dynamo coach Dominic Kinnear is beginning to see the injury-related problems he can tolerate.
For a team that has made due with only one forward and has lost half its starting midfielder since the season opener, the Dynamo are slowly getting healthy again. And that forces Kinnear to make difficult choices on incorporating players off injury back into the lineup.
Richard Mulrooney is the first on the list, after playing a full 90 minutes in the Dynamo’s win over Chivas last Saturday and reporting no discomfort in his knee.
“It was great, I was a little winded, but that’s the process,” Mulrooney said. “I have hit every step in terms of getting back into the 18, and now I have played a full game. The knee injury is in the past, but we obviously keep an eye on it so we don’t have any setbacks.”
Forward Brian Ching also traveled with the team over the weekend, but was held on the bench while Kinnear opted to take a conservative approach with his captain.
Ching feels confident he will be available for significant minutes when the team travels to face Real Salt Lake on Thursday.
“I felt great,” Ching said. “Physically I am fine; it’s just a matter of getting my lungs back.”
Forward Cam Weaver will likely miss the Real Salt Lake match, but returned to full training with the team this week for the first time this season.
“It’s another step, I want to keep trying to continue on the progression,” said Weaver, who’s recovering from a right knee injury. “It’s been really tough with the timing of everything right before the season, thinking it is going to be a couple of weeks, and it being a couple of months; it’s tough.”
While the team is getting healthier, they are still not free and clear of injuries. Defender Eddie Robinson also won’t be available against RSL after suffering a right knee sprain against FC Dallas last week.
“I fell lucky after seeing the replay and feel fortunate it will just be 1-2 weeks,” noted Robinson. “There’s no pain and the doctor said there is no significant damage, but it just doesn’t feel quite right. I hope to begin running by the end of the week and be back in training next week and hopefully I won’t miss too much time other than (Thursday).”
Dwain Capodice is a contributor to MLSsoccer.com. Questions or Comments can be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.