Obafemi Martins

Seattle Sounders watch, wait as Obafemi Martins' ankle heals "maybe not as fast as we’d like"

TUKWILA, Wash. — It’s looking increasingly likely that the Seattle Sounders will have to wait a little longer to see their attack at full strength.

Although Obafemi Martins had his heaviest practice day in about two weeks, he was still limited by the left ankle injury he suffered against Toronto FC on Aug. 10. He was scheduled to undergo an MRI on Wednesday in an effort to better understand the extent of the injury.

“His movement was better today,” said Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid, adding that Martins participated in possession drills and was at least able to use his left foot again. “I think overall he’s coming along. Maybe not as fast as we’d like at this stage, but there was definitely some improvement.”

If Martins is unable to play against the Columbus Crew on Saturday, chances are it could be a while before the Sounders see how he pairs up with Clint Dempsey.

The United States national team captain is expected to be called away for a pair of World Cup qualifiers on Sept. 6 and 11. Brad Evans and Eddie Johnson have also been regular participants in the United States’ qualifying efforts.

“We need him to get healthy,” Schmid said about Martins. “We’re going to have some guys missing after the Columbus game. We have to be smart about it, not just throw him into a game too early and have him re-injure himself. Since we’re missing those other guys, having Oba is going to be extremely important to our team.”