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April 11, 2013 at 4:31 PM

Obafemi Martins’ knee feeling ‘much better’

Note: Seattle Times desk editor Joel Petterson was out at Sounders FC training today and provided the reporting on this post.

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After leaving last week to get treatment for an knee injury, Obafemi Martins rejoined Sounders FC on Thursday and participated in training — but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll play Saturday against the New England Revolution.

In fact, coach Sigi Schmid ruled the forward out of that game in a radio interview with KJR-AM.

Even still, the aggravated tendon above Martins’ kneecap is feeling “much better,” the Nigerian international said. Sounders FC’s newest DP expressed interest in playing Saturday, but Schmid was in no rush to put Martins, who has played just 82 minutes over two games since his signing March 15, back on the field.

“The thing is, we’ve got to make sure he’s healthy,” Schmid said. “We can’t shortchange ourselves and put guys on the field who aren’t healthy or aren’t in a position to give one hundred percent.”

“With Oba right now, we’ve got to get him to that point, and then we can talk about integrating him into the team.”

The injury isn’t a new one for Martins, and he said that, aside from treatment, he just needs to take his time and take care of the knee before returning.

His return can’t come soon enough for the goal-starved Sounders. Schmid’s main complaint with Seattle’s showing against Santos Laguna on Tuesday was poor finishing, an issue that Martins’ presence up front would likely improve.

Schmid also said the team would wait and see on Eddie Johnson’s availability. Johnson played 61 minutes Tuesday but has been dealing with toe and hamstring injuries.

Brad Evans, who is dealing with a calf strain, participated in training Thursday after sitting out Tuesday, and Schmid said the team would wait to see how he felt Friday before determining his status for Saturday.

David Estrada has been partially cleared to practice after suffering an eye injury in the March 30 road loss at Real Salt Lake, but doctors don’t want him to head the ball yet. His progress will continue to be monitored.

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