KANSAS CITY, Mo. – There’s never a good time for a starter to go down with an injury, but Sporting Kansas City’s bye week means the club won’t have to do without left back Seth Sinovic for too many games.
Sinovic underwent successful surgery on Tuesday for a fractured right hand, sustained in last weekend’s 1-0 loss at Portland – the first defeat of the year for Sporting KC (7-1-0).
He is expected to miss no more than two weeks, the team said Wednesday, and Kansas City don’t play again until they host the expansion Montreal Impact on May 5.
WATCH: Sinovic feeds Sapong
Even before the team announced the injury, manager Peter Vermes said former starter Michael Harrington had been playing well enough in training and reserve matches to earn a spot start on the backline.
“Mikey’s been working hard and pushing the envelope like crazy,” Vermes said on Tuesday night, after Harrington turned in a 90-minute effort in a 1-0 Reserve League loss to Colorado. “That makes the other guys in there better.”
Sinovic has not been out of Vermes’ first XI since making his Sporting debut last June, starting the last 20 matches of the regular season and all three of Sporting’s MLS Cup Playoffs games. He has played all but one minute in of the club’s first eight matches this year, taking a bigger role in the offense with the arrival of veteran left winger Bobby Convey, and earned his first career assist in a 3-0 rout of New England in Sporting’s home opener.
Harrington, in his sixth year with Kansas City, has 119 career starts in 139 appearances but lost his first-team berth after 16 starts in 2011. He came into camp looking to contend for playing time, but his only appearance this year was a 1-minute stint in relief of Sinovic in the loss to the Timbers.
Kronberg coming back slowly
Eric Kronberg’s 2012 season is turning into a study in patience.
Sporting Kansas City’s longtime backup goalkeeper had hoped to be back at full strength by now, but still hasn’t returned to a full training schedule because of a lower back injury sustained in the preseason.
“I’ve kind of gotten back into warming up with the goalkeepers, just this week,” Kronberg told MLSsoccer.com on Tuesday. “I’m taking it easy. It’s a pretty serious injury and we don’t want to rush it.”
Kronberg was originally expected to be out four to six weeks with the bulging disk, which first manifested as shooting pains down his legs.
Although Kronberg said it doesn’t hurt right now until he pushes himself too far, Vermes said the condition was serious enough that the goalkeeper’s recovery needs to happen at a slower pace.
“We don’t want to rush him back and waste all the time we just spent leaving him out,” Vermes said on Tuesday. “So we want to make sure when we bring him back, that it’s a slow process and he’s fully fit again. It’s more precautionary than anything else.”