The Portland Timbers practiced at the team's Beaverton training facility today, getting back to work after returning from Wednesday's vital 1-0 win over Real Salt Lake. With the bulk of the team still recovering from a hard fought match against a desperate RSL side, practice was closed while Wednesday's starters were on the pitch doing their recovery work, opening later on while the rest of the 18 was still stretching and the remainder of the first team was working a one on one finishing and defending drill.
In the drill alongside Michael Seaton, Nick Besler, Anthony Manning, and Andy Thoma, were Will Johnson and Ben Zemanski, putting in as much work as we have seen from either as they make their respective recoveries from injury.
Injuries and Absences
Johnson, who is returning from a minor surgery to remove two screws from his tibia, was able to partially participate in training today, Caleb Porter told the press, and will hopefully rejoin full training tomorrow, although his lack of fitness will keep him out of at least the match on Sunday against the LA Galaxy. Johnson could potentially make his return against the Colorado Rapids in the Timbers' final regular season match, but even that seems like it could be a stretch, making a potential Timbers playoff berth the most likely time for Johnson to get back in the XI.
Zemanski was in training in a non-contact role, according to Porter, and still has some time before he is allowed back into full training with the rest of the team. While Porter said that he thought Zemanski was looking back to his old self, he also told the press that the team was being cautious with Zemanski and would be making sure that he was completely ready before inserting him into any full contact drills. Porter also mentioned that Zemanski had participated in the team's possession drills for the first time since tearing his ACL in the preseason, another step for the player on the long road to recovery.
Lucas Melano suffered an AC strain in his shoulder, said Porter, and the team is waiting to see the extent of the injury. Whether Melano will be available for Sunday is still up in the air as he is evaluated, but Porter seemed optimistic that, if the injury is not to severe, he would be able to play.
Porter told the press that he is confident that Alvas Powell, who went down with a leg injury in the second half but played the rest of the match against RSL, will be back and available for the match against Colorado, but added the caveat that he is still waiting for news on the player today. Powell will be suspended for Sunday's match against LA due to yellow card accumulation.
Jack Jewsbury is still in a walking boot and experiencing some soreness, Porter said, and looks unlikely to be back for Sunday, but will hopefully be available for the final match against the Rapids.
Dairon Asprilla was kept out of the 18 on Wednesday by the performances of other players, Porter said, not because of injury. Porter singled Michael Nanchoff out in particular as a player whose contributions and attitude in training pushed him into the 18. Nanchoff made a brief appearance for the Timbers against RSL, coming on in the 89th minute for Darlington Nagbe to help put the game away.
Danny O'Rourke was the lone non-first team player on the pitch today.