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September 24, 2013 at 1:44 PM

Sounders FC injury updates on Dempsey, Johnson, Zakuani, Ford and others

Seattle Sounders FC LogoThe Sounders are still dealing with a couple injury issues, and coach Sigi Schmid gave a rundown Tuesday as the team returned to action following the weekend’s game against the Galaxy.

First up was Clint Dempsey, who we learned suffered a hamstring injury last week that prevented him from traveling to Los Angeles.

“He’s doing OK, doing much better,” said Schmid. “The decision for these two days was to stay inside. We’ll see where he’s at when we come back into training on Friday.”

The coach added that Dempsey isn’t necessarily ruled out for Sunday’s home game against Eastern Conference leader New York, and that they’ll see how the forward comes along in these next couple days before making that determination.

So how did the injury occur? Had it been building up from the travel and national-team duty or was it a random occurrence in training?

“Don’t know exactly,” Schmid said, “because he didn’t do that much with us. When he came back from the national team, he didn’t do that much. But obviously it’s something that either with the wear and tear with national team, playing those games in rapid succession, or maybe coming back with a wrong step at training, it’s hard to tell.”

In another potentially concerning situation, forward Eddie Johnson was held out of contact Tuesday and pulled early due to a shoulder injury. He’ll be getting an X-ray to make sure everything is OK. Something to keep an eye on this week.

Elsewhere, Steve Zakuani was on the bench Saturday for the first time in five months. Reporters talked to him, too, and there will be more from that to come, but Schmid was asked what kind of role the midfielder can play going forward.

“We’ll see,” the coach said. “He did all right today at training. I know he came back on Sunday and he had a hard work out with (fitness coach) Dave Tenney. We’re trying to keep him a good rhythm, trying to get his strength back so he’s ready for more and more minutes. His ability right now to come off the bench and contribute 15-20 minutes, maybe more so by the time we get into this weekend, could be very significant for us.”

In some other quick notes, Adam Moffat was given an excused absence to go to Houston and get some things. The new acquisition will be returning with his wife, some know her as Steven Lenhart‘s sister.

Also, defender Leo Gonzalez worked out inside Tuesday. Schmid had mentioned earlier in the year that the veteran left-back has been getting more time to recover from games, not unlike guys like Djimi Traore and others this season.

Lastly, a quick update on reserve goalkeeper Josh Ford, who is training again after having missed most of the year after knee surgery.

“He’s making progress,” Schmid said. “He’s, right now,a little bit better than we had thought. He still has … a plate in there or something that eventually has to be taken out, but we’re going to wait until the end of the season to do that.”

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