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May 11, 2012 at 2:17 PM

Sounders FC’s Alvaro Fernandez: “I feel good. I’m ready to go.”

fernandez mug 2012.jpgTUKWILA—While the Sounders’ past five games have been great for the team (five straight wins), they haven’t been the best for Alvaro Fernandez.

The Uruguayan midfielder has been out since mid-April with a quadriceps strain and missed every game in the winning streak. Good news for Seattle is he looks primed to return Saturday against Real Salt Lake.

“I feel good. I’m ready to go,” Fernandez said through an interpreter after Friday’s training session at Starfire.

The designated player admitted that selection is ultimately the coach’s decision, so Sigi Schmid was also asked about Fernandez’ availability Saturday.

“Yeah, I think Flaco’s ready,” Schmid said. “The only question for us is whether we start him or whether we bring him off the bench. The other concern that you have as a coach now as you put together your staring lineup is I think Flaco is ready and healthy, but probably not healthy for 90 minutes. You have to look at now that’s one sub. This guy is maybe carrying this injury, so that’s another sub. You’ve got to balance it. You don’t want to start two or three guys that you know you have to sub because then something unexpected happens and you’re left short or you’re forcing a guy to play through something that you might not want him to. That’s a decision we have to make, but he’s ready to return in this game.”

Fernandez was also asked if he felt the injury lingered longer than expected.

“No,” he said. “I think it’s a normal recovery. It’s what I needed, but because there were so many games in a row, I ended up missing an extra game than I might have otherwise if the games were more spread out.”

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