The Portland Timbers practiced at their Beaverton training facility today on the heels of their 3-1 win over FC Dallas over the weekend. Practice should have been highlighted by the arrival of new midfielder Ishmael Yartey, but his first training session with the team was overshadowed by the return of Diego Valeri to training for the first time since tearing his ACL in the final match of the 2014 season.
Valeri took part in the team warmups, passing drills, and some brief sprints along with the rest of the first team. While there was not much notable about the drills, Valeri was at least fast than his partner in the sprints, guest player Danny O'Rourke.
Following the team sprints, Valeri headed to the sidelines to work with fitness coach Nick Milonas, while the starters from Saturday's match headed indoors to complete their recovery session. The rest of the team, including Yartey, played a small field 3v3+1 game with keepers. Yartey, who looked smart on the ball while restricted to one-touch passing, was the consistent "+1" for the match.
After practice Caleb Porter outlined the schedule for Valeri's return to play, saying that Valeri should be cleared for full training with the team in two and a half weeks, then should be ready for substitute minutes in early May.
Injuries and Absences
Will Johnson also worked out on the sidelines today, joined by Valeri midway through the session. Johnson, Porter said, is on a much more wide open window to return as there are many more factors that contribute to a player's return from a broken bone. Porter did say that Johnson was now behind Valeri in his time frame.
Michael Nanchoff was on the sidelines of practice today working with a trainer. This was Nanchoff's first day back on the pitch since undergoing surgery to repair a sports hernia several weeks ago.
Ben Zemanski was not on hand for today's training session. Zemanski is still recovering from a torn ACL he suffered in the preseason.
Except for Jake Gleeson, the Timbers' T2 loanees were not on hand for training today.
Trialists and Guest Players
In addition to O'Rourke, T2 keeper Justin Luthy was on hand for training with the first team today.
Sorry this is short today, but I gotta get to work! -Will