Ankle injury? What ankle injury?
Portland Timbers central defender Larrys Mabiala declared himself fully fit as his team trained for the final time before 2018 MLS Cup Saturday (8 pm ET | FOX, UniMás, TSN 1/3/5, TVAS) against Atlanta United at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Mabiala put a scare into Rose City, and himself, when he suffered what appeared to be a severe ankle injury in the first leg of the Conference Championship against Sporting Kansas City at Providence Park.
It was serious enough to keep Mabiala off the field for the second leg in Kansas City. But he has worked himself back at training, which Timbers coach Giovanni Savarese said was an encouraging sign on Tuesday in Portland.
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"My ankles feels good, I have been healing very fast,” Mabiala said Friday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. “I was scared when I got injured, but it's been healing very well and I feel very comfortable and I'll be ready to play tomorrow if the coach thinks I'm ready.”
The 31-year-old started 31 regular season matches, scoring five goals, while also starting three times in the Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs before being stretchered off in the first half on Nov. 25.
Although it will be nearly two weeks since he last played, Mabiala said he’s not concerned about his match fitness heading into Saturday night’s showdown.
"No because I've been working a lot,” Mabiala said. “It’s MLS Cup, there's nothing to do about fitness, being injured or tired. It's the last game of the season and everybody is going to give everything. There's nothing to think about [with] fitness."