TUKWILA, Wash. – The Seattle Sounders appear to be the beneficiaries of some good news as they head into their bye week, as Chad Marshall was back on the field for Thursday’s training session at Starfire Soccer Complex.
The three-time MLS Defender of the Year sprained his neck after an awkward fall during Seattle’s practice on Sept. 30 before being carried off the field on a stretcher and taken to the hospital in an ambulance.
Marshall sat out Seattle’s 1-1 draw against the LA Galaxy last Sunday, but Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid seemed to indicate last week that the injury wasn’t as bad as it looked. Marshall trained solo inside at Starfire on Tuesday and Wednesday and was back outside doing side work on Thursday.
“He was jogging,” Schmid said of Marshall following Thursday’s practice. “Like I said, we’re progressing him each day. He progressed today, and we’ll continue to progress him.”
Schmid said last week that Marshall could be back in time for Seattle’s next game – a road tilt with the Houston Dynamo on Oct. 18 (5 pm ET; ESPN). The Sounders already lost their other starting center back, Roman Torres, to a torn ACL suffered against the San Jose Earthquakes on Sept. 12.
Marshall has a bit of extra time to heal as the Sounders have a bye this weekend, a break that Schmid said will provide his players with an opportunity to decompress and get a temporary hiatus from the game before they resume their fight for a Western Conference playoff spot.
“The important thing [during a bye] is to still do something but get away from soccer a little bit,” Schmid said. “Spend some time with your family. If you want to take a weekend away, go ahead and take a weekend away. Go for a walk, go for a hike, play some tennis. Whatever you want to do.”
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Schmid also gave status updates on two of Seattle’s other notable injuries of the week, the first being Nelson Valdez, who was a pregame scratch against the Galaxy after tweaking his left calf during warm-ups.
“We’re going to be cautious with [Valdez],” Schmid said. “The MRI showed nothing serious, which is good news. But it’s just a matter of ‘OK, we’ve got this week. Let’s be smart, let’s not be stupid and let’s give him some time.’”
Rookie left back Oniel Fisher, meanwhile, was also jogging around the field at Seattle’s Thursday practice as he works his way back from a hamstring injury, although an exact timeline for his return has yet to be determined.