The Sounders were back on the practice field Friday after a day off. Here are a few notes:
* * *
— Things definitely look better on the injury front as Brad Evans (rib), Andy Rose (hamstring) and Djimi Traore (hamstring) have been in action all week.
— The early part of practice was closed to media, but coach Sigi Schmid gave this update on forward Obafemi Martins, who was kicked in the knee a few days ago: “Oba was good. Oba did the beginning part of practice. When he came out, I pulled him out. I told him I just wanted him to go through half of the 11v11, and he did that and he was fine. We’ll see how he is now, but in terms of (his knee), he said it felt fine once he got going.”
— Goalkeeper Michael Gspurning had his gloves on for the first time this week in practice. “He’s coming along,” Schmid said. “I haven’t talked to (goalkeeper coach Tom Dutra) yet about how training went with him today, but I think it’s coming along all right. He definitely feels better today, did his first bit of handling on Wednesday and felt much better today.”
— Schmid said there’s is no timetable on Gspurning’s return but said “if it improves tremendously between today and tomorrow, maybe Gspurning can be on the bench” for Sunday’s game against Chivas USA. “I don’t know,” the coach added. “We just have to see about next week. We’re just going week by week.”
— Midfielder Steve Zakuani is another seemingly making progress after undergoing sports hernia surgery a while back. “He’s doing a little bit more,” Schmid said. “He’s striking some long balls, although that started to bother him a little bit. He’s probably still at least two to three weeks away.”
— Forward Eddie Johnson is expected to rejoin the team Monday after duty with the U.S. men’s national team in Sunday’s Gold Cup final against Panama in Chicago. He should be ready to go for an Aug. 3 home game against FC Dallas.