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Jozy Altidore on track for MLS Cup final despite missing training

The American stayed inside on Wednesday, but Greg Vanney says that was the plan.

Columbus Crew SC v Toronto FC - Eastern Conference Finals - Leg 2 Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

Jozy Altidore watch, day seven.

Despite not training with his teammates on Wednesday, Greg Vanney says Altidore is ahead of schedule in his recovery from an ankle injury and on track to play in Saturday’s MLS Cup final against the Seattle Sounders.

The American will rejoin the group in full on Thursday.

“He did what we needed him to do for today,” Vanney said. “So it was very little on the field, but most of what he had to do was in the weight room and the training room.”

It was hard not to sense a slight air of Vanney choosing his words carefully when asked about Altidore’s condition. But perhaps that’s a natural product of being asked for an update on the striker every day in front of an increasingly large - and unfamiliar - group of reporters as the final approaches.

It should also be noted that if Altidore is going to play with the problem patched up rather than fully healed, as seems likely to be the case, neither he nor Vanney is going to be telling the Sounders in advance about any vulnerability.

The Toronto FC coach did explicitly say, anyway, that there has been no setback that resulted in Altidore not participating in full on Wednesday.

“No [setback],” he added. “Nothing. It’s a process. He’ll be good; tomorrow he’ll train with the group.”

Asked whether or not Altidore’s recovery had progressed as hoped, Vanney replied: “Yes. He’s there or potentially even a little bit ahead of where we thought he would be, so he’s in good shape.”

Altidore is Toronto’s only known injury concern going into the final at BMO Field.