BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. — The Chicago Fire may be without captain Logan Pause for one more game.
Pause strained his groin in the first half of last week's US Open Cup game against the Charlotte Eagles and missed Sunday's 2-0 win over D.C. United. He went through light training on Thursday, his first full day with the team since his injury, and hopes to be back for next week's US Open Cup game against Columbus.
In the meantime, he is not expected to start Saturday against the Portland Timbers (8:30 pm ET, watch on MLS Live) although he is working to be an option in that game.
"I'm progressing along," Pause told MLSsoccer.com. "Obviously it was a pretty light day, but it was the first day that I was involved. I've got the rest of today and tomorrow to see where I'm at.
"I'd like to hope that for sure by Wednesday [I will return], but I'm hopeful that I could play some part on Saturday, but we've got a lot of games coming up, and I want to be smart that this thing is not lingering."
Without Pause in the midfield against D.C., coach Frank Klopas made a tactical move by inserting attacking midfielder Alex instead of Daniel Paladini, who sits back further and was coming off of an injury.
Who would start in Pause's place against Portland remains to be seen. The major obstacle in the defensive midfielder's return is his fitness, Klopas said.
"I've got to see where he is from a fitness standpoint," Klopas said. "The big thing is that from a fitness standpoint, he's missed a long time ... I know he's a fit guy. He takes care of himself."