Toronto FC had the entirety of their roster together for training on Tuesday after returning home from their first trip of the preseason to California, though the two latecomers to the group are not participating in full just yet.
Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore, who both returned from international duty with the USA late last week, are looking to put minor health issues behind them ahead of the Reds’ first game of the MLS season on March 4.
“Normally they would be doing the same [work] as everybody else but Jozy has noticed a little bit of a nagging inflammation thing that we’re just taking it easy [with] right now because of the turf,” Greg Vanney said. “We’re giving him alternative fitness work.”
Altidore’s inflammation is in the knee, according to Neil Davidson of the Canadian Press. Toronto are currently training on artificial turf in the indoor domes at the Kia Training Grounds due to the cold weather.
“Michael’s had some sort of illness, a viral thing that he’s got,” Vanney added. “He warmed up with the group and did the technical stuff with the group and then he’s building up over the course of this week because he’s just getting some of his energy back, but he’s been feeling that for a couple of weeks so we’re trying to get him over the hump with that.
“They’ve been in since Friday - here, in Toronto, I think it was Thursday or Friday or Saturday - and they’re here and they’re with us, it’s just they each have their things we’re trying to manage and get them back into full strength.”
Bradley - though looking a little pale - did not dwell on his condition for long, leaving it at a quick ‘I feel good’.
He should, you would hope, be fine by the time next month comes around but TFC will need to be more careful with Altidore. It would be far better for him to go into the new season short of preseason minutes but fully healthy than it would with a problem that has the potential to persist, play on his mind and turn into something worse.
Let’s not worry about that, though, until we have to.
The Reds are in Toronto for a few more days and then fly out to Orlando on Monday for the meat of their preseason schedule over a period of two weeks. TFC will take on the NASL’s Miami FC and the University of Central Florida before facing MLS opposition in Orlando City, Minnesota United and the Chicago Fire.