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Toronto FC injury update: Who could play vs. Columbus?

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Ager Aketxe is may be out a couple weeks, but some defenders could be on their way back into the lineup.

MLS: Concacaf Champions League-  Toronto FC Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto FC were back in training this morning, and we learned a little bit about the club’s current injury situation, and who could be in contention to play on the weekend against the Columbus Crew.

The situation in defence is starting to look a little brighter, as Greg Vanney spoke to some of the progress he’s seeing from the defenders TFC have been missing. Justin Morrow and Ashtone Morgan both came out to do some solo work during training, which is a very positive sign, although it’s hard to tell when exactly they’ll be able to rejoin the team fully.

Nick Hagglund participated in training after appearing in Friday’s loss to FC Dallas, and Vanney said his recovery from that has been promising.

“The hamstring that was the initial issue is good,” said Vanney. “I think he has some general soreness from playing. Last week he had a good training week and he played some 11-v-11, but still live 11-v-11 for 45 minutes, 50 minutes is a different feeling. He’s got some general soreness, nothing to do with the injury.”

As for Chris Mavinga, who missed training today after leaving Friday’s game with injury, Vanney wasn’t able to provide much of a timeframe. The coach did, however, indicate that Mavinga is dealing with competing injuries, which may exacerbate each other.

“We’re trying to take care of the underlying cause but at the same time keep him healthy and get him healthy,” added Vanney.

Eriq Zavaleta missed out entirely against Dallas, and he wasn’t in training with the full team today. However, Vanney seemed positive about the defender’s outlook for this weekend, saying they’ll be monitoring his progress in the coming days before deciding whether he’s fit enough to play.

“There’s three or four guys that are right on the cusp of rejoining the group, and that’s nice,” said Vanney. “We want to get guys back as quickly as we can, but in this process, because we’ve been so thin it’s almost at times like we’ve been rushing guys back to try and get them back, or they’ve been rushing themselves back, and in some of those situations it hasn’t served us real well either. We’re trying to be diligent but also efficient and quick as we can.”

Vanney also mentioned Nico Hasler, suggesting that he’s another player who’s close to returning.

A more surprising piece of news we learned from Vanney’s media availability today was that Ager Aketxe has picked up some kind of injury in his hip, which may keep him out of the lineup for a couple weeks. He apparently got hurt in a tackle during training.

All in all, the Reds will still be missing some major pieces this weekend — we still don’t know much about Drew Moor’s timeline, and Jozy Altidore will still be out for a few weeks — but they’re starting to heal. A few healthy centre-backs will go a long way toward helping TFC get back on track, starting this Saturday at Mapfre Stadium.