Yangel Herrera -- Challenging -- Roger Espinoza
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Report: NYCFC's Yangel Herrera could return early from ankle injury

Could slumping New York City FC get a welcome October surprise?

Influential center midfielder Yangel Herrera has revealed that his recovery from ankle surgery is running ahead of schedule, and that he could return to match action in time to play a role in the final weeks of the regular season and Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs.

One of MLS’s top young players in 2017, Herrera suffered his injury in a 3-1 loss to the Houston Dynamo on May 25 and was ruled out for the season after undergoing arthroscopic surgery. Yet this week he told Merediano, a media outlet in his native Venezuela, that he’s close to returning to full speed.

“The recovery has been good, I am already in the last stage,” he said. “Next week I start to run full with 100 percent of my body weight, because I’ve been running in a zero-gravity machine …. In mid-September I would return to the fields for what would be the readaptation and from there it would take me several weeks to play again.

“I have had a very good recovery, I am fulfilling the recovery to the letter,” Herrera added. “I try to do things well to get to the end of the season and play the playoffs.”

Herrera, 20, has yet to take the field under NYCFC coach Dome Torrent, who replaced Patrick Vieira earlier this summer. The Manchester City loanee told Merediano that Torrent “tells me he's waiting for me” – and the Cityzens could use a boost, having suffered through a 1-4-2 stretch in recent weeks after winning their first four matches under Torrent.