Portland rookie Darlington Nagbe started and played 71 minutes on Saturday against Houston.
Nick Doan/Portland Timbers

No. 2 overall pick Nagbe nearly back for Portland

PORTLAND, Ore. – Darlington Nagbe, the No. 2 overall pick in the MLS SuperDraft, may see his first action with the Portland Timbers on Saturday against the New England Revolution.

Nagbe has been sidelined with a sports hernia surgery. He underwent the procedure on March 4 and was expected to miss two to four weeks. The 20-year-old was on the sideline and available for Portland on Tuesday in a US Open Cup play-in match against Chivas USA but did not play.

On Wednesday, coach John Spencer said he might have used Nagbe if the game had gone into overtime. Portland scored twice in the final six minutes to win 2-0 at Merlo Field on the University of Portland campus.

WATCH: Highlights: Portland 2, Chivas USA 0

“It’s a possibility,” Spencer said of Nagbe’s potential involvement Saturday. “I don’t want to push him too much in case something happens to him. We’re probably a little over-cautious with him.”

A potential starter who missed the Timbers' first two MLS games – losses at Colorado and Toronto – Nagbe won the Hermann Trophy as the NCAA’s top player during the 2010 season.

“He’s a super footballer,” Spencer said. “He’s one of those guys, where when you’re under pressure, you give him the ball and nine times out of 10 he makes the right decision and the right pass. If all goes according to plan, we could see a young Portland superstar emerging in the next two or three years.”