TORONTO – Toronto FC survived their first six games of the year comfortably, picking up nine points despite an injury bug that left their starting XI in pieces.
Now with a weekend off, head coach Ryan Nelsen can take the time to nurse his players back to full health. He provided MLSsoccer.com a rundown of players injured or nursing knocks as of Wednesday, starting with midfielder Michael Bradley.
The US international did play the full match Saturday against FC Dallas, a 2-1 loss, after returning from a few strains but was out of training this week for an entirely different reason. He underwent a foot procedure to deal with a “nerve issue” that was planned since the preseason.
“It just means he has to get off it for a week,” Nelsen told MLSsoccer.com. “… He can play on it, and he’s had it for a long time. … You can play on it, but it’s annoying. He’s had a procedure to take care of that; it was always going to be done over these two weeks.”
“They’re with the fitness coach, and they’re progressing really well,” Nelsen said. “There’s no need to get them in just yet but all signs are really, really positive.”
Henry missed three weeks of action with a knee injury, a low-grade MCL and calf tear, but the young Canadian defender returned to the training pitch on Thursday on the side with Defoe.
“It was nagging the whole time, but the way I injured myself, it was like a freak accident, it hurt a lot,” Henry said. “Basically I’ve been feeling it in my knees and my ankles for a while. I was just about to pass the ball and my knee buckled on the outside. I jumped out of it before it got worse.”
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One bit of good news was the return of Jonathan Osorio, who started and played the full 90 against Dallas. He took part in full training on Wednesday and Thursday and looks to be fully recovered after dealing with a hamstring injury of his own for two weeks.
“I felt really good,” Osorio told MLSsoccer.com. “I ran a lot that game, and my hamstring wasn’t hurting at all. Now it’s about getting back into the rhythm. We can take a step back from a tough first six games and regroup, get back from injuries and rest mentally. The season can take a toll on you mentally.”