Nagamura's return offers good news for Chivas
CARSON, Calif. — "It’s almost comical," were head coach Robin Fraser's words to describe the injury situation at Chivas USA following a 1-1 draw with Toronto FC last weekend.
But while most of the news on the injury front for the club seems to be troubling for Fraser’s crew, there’s a silver lining in there somewhere in the return of Paulo Nagamura and Simon Elliott.
Both were back in practice this week and there’s optimism that the tenacious midfielder Nagamura could be welcomed back into the fold soon. Nagamura has suffered a number of setbacks as he has looked to return from a knee sprain that has kept him out of the lineup for the start of the season.
"I've seen him progress pretty well over the last couple of weeks after the first few weeks were very difficult for him," said Fraser. "He's an intense competitor, so it has to be killing him to not be involved this long. Credit to him for continuing to work hard and he appears to be on the cusp of getting back involved."
Although there is hope that he could play very soon, Nagamura is tempering any potential hype concerning his return to the field, including in Saturday’s match against the Columbus Crew (10:30 pm ET, Matchday Live).
"I'm not 100 percent yet, but I'm very close to being back on the field," Nagamura said. "It's tough to be on the sideline, but we need to worry about fitness first before I get back on the field.”
While Nagamura may play a role on Saturday, it appears that defender Jimmy Conrad will not. The veteran center back stated after practice on Tuesday that he is still a week away from recovering from the mild concussion that kept him out of last week's fixture.
Adam Serrano covers Chivas USA for MLSSoccer.com, he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter: @adamserrano