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Toronto FC defender Ashtone Morgan close to comeback from injury

The left-back will build his fitness up with TFC II before returning to first-team contention.

Houston Dynamo v Toronto FC Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

Greg Vanney will be able to count upon even more depth in his Toronto FC squad in the not-too-distant future, with Ashtone Morgan nearing a comeback after foot surgery.

The left-back went under the knife for a stress fracture in mid-February. It was the second time he had undergone the procedure, with the injury originally occurring late in the 2016 season and then haunting Morgan again ahead of the current campaign.

Our resident doctor Tej Sahota wrote about the probable specifics of Morgan’s condition when that second surgery was made public and sure enough, a return to full training next week - as reported by John Molinaro - would fit exactly into the eight-week timeframe he predicted.

“He’s right there, and our hope is by next week he’ll be all in,” Vanney said at training on Tuesday, per Molinaro. The head coach added that Morgan will be loaned down to TFC II to begin with to build up his fitness.

“I think that’s important because he’s missed virtually the entire preseason at this point,” Vanney continued. “To build him up in terms of game minutes and game fitness, that will be a part of the process.”

Morgan’s chances of getting on the pitch with the first team have been complicated by the rise of Raheem Edwards, who has impressed at left-wing-back in two MLS appearances this season.

But despite still only being 26, Morgan is the much more experienced of the two and, when fully fit, is probably the man Vanney would want to call upon in Toronto’s toughest games should Justin Morrow be unavailable for any reason. With his abundance of speed and energy, it will also be interesting to see what Morgan can bring to the wing-back role having mostly played as an orthodox left-back for TFC.