After its most convincing victory of the young season, Sporting Kansas City will embark on back-to-back road trips against the best the Western Conference has to offer.
The voyage could come with some good news. Sporting KC is hopeful, even optimistic, that it will have its attacking midfielder back on the field during the stretch.
Benny Feilhaber was a full participant at practice Wednesday after he missed the last two matches because of a hamstring strain.
“I felt good,” he said. “There’s still a little bit to go in terms of fitness and feeling good about playing longer than 30 or 45 minutes. But having said that, my movements feel pretty good. I feel loose and not restricted. It’s going as planned right now.”
Feilhaber was on the field for practice last week as well, but he called Wednesday’s session his first as a “full-go” participant with the entire team on the field.
Sporting KC plays in Portland at 9:30 p.m. Saturday. A week later, it travels to face FC Dallas.
“The plan is to try to get him (available) in the 18, and train him in full without having a modified training session,” Vermes said. “He has to be back in full. That would make him eligible for the 18.”
Feilhaber was injured nearly three weeks ago while stretching his leg for a pass. The muscle strain kept him out of a scoreless draw against Toronto and the ensuing 3-1 victory against Colorado over the weekend.
While he was able to practice some last week, he reported some soreness early in the week, holding him out of a few drills.
“It’s hard with a guy with a muscle injury. If he doesn’t have a full week of training to really feel good, you’re putting him in harm’s way,” Vermes said. “I’m not going to take any chances.”
Feilhaber has one goal in three games this year. In his place, Sporting KC has shifted Jimmy Medranda to the midfield and used Soony Saad on the wing.