Ryan Smith is still just trying to get healthy.
Almost a month and a half after Smith was tackled from behind against D.C. United, the ankle injury that forced him out of that match after a dazzling debut just keeps on nagging at him.
Smith continues to be a dynamic force on the flanks for the Wizards, but he said the knock that forced him out after scoring a goal and creating two others against United continues to limit him on the field, though he is in no danger of missing Saturday's game against the Fire.
“Obviously, it has affected me,” Smith said. “I still think I can still offer a bit more speed, which people may think is strange of me to say. Right now, with my ankle the way it is, I have it strapped up every game, every training session.”
Smith hasn’t missed a start this season, but the physical discomfort has forced the 23-year-old to use alternate means to play through the pain.
“I have been playing on painkillers every single game,” he said.
Even struggling to reach 100 percent, Smith has been an early highlight with his mazy dribbling and bursting runs. And while it’s a little disappointing to have to fight a fitness battle so early in the season, he said he is determined to contribute on the field and recover at the same time.
“It’s just one of those things,” Smith said. “I’m a team player. I’ll play through the pain barrier to help our team win games. I’m not the type of guy that wants to sit on the bench.”
Arnaud and Auvray struggling with fitness
Neither Davy Arnaud or Stephane Auvray participated in training Wednesday, and likely face an uphill battle to play against the Fire on Saturday.
Arnaud spent most of practice on the sidelines in tennis shoes talking to manager Peter Vermes. Vermes said Arnaud’s status for Saturday’s game against the Fire is uncertain.
Both players are listed as questionable with knee sprains.
“He’s [Arnaud] struggling,” Vermes said. “I don’t know if he’ll be ready.”
Auvray has started every match so far for Kansas City since signing with the team from Ligue 2 club Nîmes Olympique during the offseason.
“He wasn’t even out here,” Vermes said on Wednesday. “They both have some nagging stuff that has been bothering them.”
Wizards defeat Brass 4-0 on Wednesday
Kansas City defeated the Kansas City Brass, a local PDL team, 4-0 on Wednesday at the team’s Swope Park Training Facility.
Kei Kamara opened the scoring in the seventh minute, turning in a cross from Josh Wolff. Wolff got a goal of his own nine minutes later after he applied a smart finish to a through ball threading behind the Brass defense by Ryan Smith.
The Wizards reserves picked up where the first team left off in the second half with Sunil Chhetri bagging two goals and sending a header off the crossbar.