Pause hurt his back in the Fire's 2-1 win against the Columbus Crew on June 22, but he seemed optimistic last week he'd be back for the game against the Earthquakes. Now, his return date is cloudy.
Match Preview: Chicago vs. San Jose
“I'm better each day, but I'm just trying to make sure I'm really on the other side of it,” Pause told MLSsoccer.com. “We're on top of it. Hopefully I can continue to progress and get on the field soon.”
Pause and fellow holding midfielder Jeff Larentowicz rotated at the position for a few games before Pause's injury, with coach Frank Klopas showing a preference to play Alex in attacking midfield with one defensive-minded midfielder.
The Fire play Sporting Kansas City on Sunday (3 pm ET, ESPN, live chat on MLSsoccer.com), closing out a stretch of five games in 18 days, and Pause wouldn't rule out a return against the Fire's Midwest rivals.
“I wouldn't say that it's out of question,” Pause said. “I think the next three days will be a big test to see how much I can do and whether I'll get on the field and in what capacity.”
Defender Steven Kinney has been out indefinitely since he suffered a quadriceps injury during a March 9 loss against the New England Revolution. He jogged outside on Tuesday, but Klopas has no timetable for his return.
“Unless I see him on the field doing stuff, I don't know,” Klopas said. “It's good to see him out there, for sure."
Anthony Zilis covers the Chicago Fire for MLSsoccer.com.