TUKWILA, Wash. – After a frustrating month battling what at first appeared to be a relatively minor injury, Brad Evans now says he’s fit and ready to contribute.
The Seattle Sounders captain has been a full participant in training all week, and it sounds like he’ll be able to play some kind of role Saturday against Chivas USA (10:30 pm ET; MLS Live).
“I’m feeling good,” Evans said on Thursday. “It’s just good to be outside again, not watching from the sideline. It was a minor little setback, but I’m ready to go.”
Evans originally suffered the injury when he was kicked in the calf on a tackle March 15 against Toronto FC. The injury eventually forced Evans out of that match with what was determined to be nothing more than a contusion, and there was hope he wouldn’t miss any games.
But the injury didn’t get better in the next couple of weeks, leading an MRI that revealed a hematoma that was causing radiated pain. Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid also said Evans suffered a second injury during the initial recovery process.
“It was just weird how everything happened,” Evans said. “It was definitely frustrating. One day you feel good, one day you don’t feel good. So it was a slow process.”
Not only did Evans have to sit out four Sounders matches, but the injury also forced him to turn down a call-up to the United States national team where he’s still trying to win a spot on the World Cup roster.
“You hate to give your chance away to somebody else, but the focus now is Sounders,” Evans said. “I have to be healthy, No. 1, to even give myself a shot. Healthy, playing consistently for the next month and whatever happens, happens.”
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The Sounders went 2-1-1 in Evans’ absence, but have also allowed eight goals in their past three games. Even if it’s a limited role, the Sounders are clearly happy to have one of their leaders back.
“Even in the 11-v-11, he’s the kind of guy on the field who’s organizing and talking to people and directing people,” Schmid said. “When Brad is not in that’s the part you miss sometimes.
“He’s come through all these practices this week really well, so is he 100-percent healthy, 100-percent fit to go 90 minutes? Maybe not at this stage, but that’s something that will come shortly.”