It seems like this bye week could not have come at a better time for Toronto FC.
The team was clearly hurting in recent weeks with a number of key starters being sidelined or struggling to play through injuries and it was showing as the team struggled to pick up results as their record slipped to a still solid 3-3.
They now have the weekend off and are using that extra time to try and get some players fit and ready to go for the tough stretch that is coming up when the club gets involved in the Voyageurs Cup at the start of May. The added games would be taxing for an already thin squad should the club not be able to get a number of these players back from injury.
The current injury report for the club includes Michael Bradley, Jermain Defoe, Doneil Henry, Ashtone Morgan, Dwayne De Rosario, Jeremy Hall, and Alvaro Rey but the good news is that a number of them could return to the field by the time that the team takes on the New England Revolution.
Bradley is using the week off to undergo a scheduled procedure on his foot. The procedure (whatever that means, there seems to be less and less specificity to these reports, I'm surprised they didn't say it was on his lower body rather than his foot) kept him out of training this week but it was planned for this time to deal with a nerve issue that had been bothering the American midfielder since preseason. That should clear up one issue for him but Bradley is also still dealing with the nagging injuries that kept him out in recent weeks. He did go the full 90 minutes in Dallas but he certainly did not look like his normal, dominant self in that match.
The other players are all slowly working their way back in to training. Henry and Defoe have been working with the training staff and are both getting closer to making their returns to full training. It will be worth keeping an eye on how they progress through the next week as both are dealing with muscle injuries. Defoe is working his way back from a hamstring issue so getting him through a few days of training with no issues would be a very good sign in terms of his return to full fitness. For Henry the injury he suffered could have been a lot more series as he sustained damage to his MCL and calf but thankfully it was only minor tearing and he noticed it early enough to avoid further injury.
The good news is that Jonathan Osorio has not been limited in training at all this week. He managed to go the full 90 minutes against FC Dallas and seems to be feeling no ill effects from that game so his name can finally be removed from the injury report.
With a bit of luck we could see Toronto FC field their strongest possible starting lineup against the Revs next weekend. It would be the first time since the second game of the season that the team has been at even close to full strength and would be a welcome boost for a club that will certainly want to pick up as many points as they can before the World Cup break comes around.
Given just how busy TFC's schedule could be following the World Cup, even if they miss out on the CONCACAF Champions League, getting healthy now is even more important.