For the first time since fracturing a bone in his left hand in early July, Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Eric Kronberg was a full participant in practice Tuesday.
But the man playing directly in front of him — central defender Matt Besler — is enduring a nearly identical injury.
In last week’s loss in New England, Besler broke a bone in his left hand — a similar injury to the one that has sidelined Kronberg for the last two months.
Besler will play through the injury, but he will be limited by a hard cast on his left hand for the next six to eight weeks. The cast will prevent him from launching his trademark throw-ins.
“Ideally, you would like to have the full use of all your fingers and your hand to use it to battle with guys,” Besler said. “But you can manage. Guys have played with casts before. There’s not really any other options.”
Besler said he broke the bone after running into someone in the 55th minute of the 3-1 loss to the Revolution.
Kronberg suffered his injury in a practice in early July. He no longer has a cast on his hand, but he wore a pad underneath his left glove Tuesday to protect the bone.
“I don’t know yet how it’s going to feel to take a shot off that left (hand) in a game situation,” Kronberg said. “I’m just rediscovering how my hand feels and trying to get it sharp again.”
The team hasn’t put a timetable on when Kronberg might be ready to return to the field, but he’s reached the end of his original two-month diagnosis.
“I think I’m close to day to day,” Kronberg said. “It’s just going to be a decision for the coaches on when they think I’m ready and when I feel comfortable.”
Despite missing the last 11 games, Kronberg is tied for fourth in Major League Soccer with seven shutouts this season. He posted the seven clean sheets in 17 starts. Sporting KC hasn’t had a shutout since Kronberg suffered the injury.
The team travels to Carson, Calif., on Friday to face Chivas USA.
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