The Sporting Kansas City lineup was a bit fuller Tuesday, thanks to the returns of veterans Paulo Nagamura and Aurelien Collin.
Nagamura made his first appearance since June 6, when he left a match in Houston in the seventh minute after getting knocked in the head. He was diagnosed with a concussion on the play.
“I felt a little fatigued in the last 15 minutes, just not having been on the field in a while,” Nagamura said. “But I didn’t feel any effects from the concussion. I’m fine.”
Collin has been nagged by a hamstring injury for the last two months. He subbed himself out of an April 19 match against Montreal before playing the next week. On May 14, he aggravated the injury in the second half of a game against Philadelphia and missed the next two matches. He suffered another setback two games later against D.C. United on May 31.
Collin said Monday that he allowed more time for the injury to heal — an extra eight days after he felt prepared to play — in an effort to ensure the problem doesn’t continue to linger.
“I took eight more days to train before coming back,” Collin said. “I’m happy to be back.”
His presence in the lineup allowed Kevin Ellis to shift to his natural position at fullback. Erik Palmer-Brown paired with Collin in the middle of the Sporting KC defense.
Benny Feilhaber remained out of the lineup Tuesday because of a sprained acromioclavicular (AC) joint in his left shoulder. Feilhaber said Monday that he will also likely miss Friday’s match in Portland, but he hopes to return July 6 when Sporting KC plays host to Chicago at Sporting Park.
| Sam McDowell, email@example.com