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Jamiro Monteiro returns to full training ahead of D.C. United game

Olivier Mbaizo expected to get minutes with Steel FC today

Photo by Matt Ralph

Philadelphia Union midfielder Jamiro Monteiro returned to full training with the team on Wednesday, but his status for Sunday’s game in Washington D.C. is still unclear.

“We had a pretty hard — obviously about 95, 96 degrees today — two times 25 minute intrasquad game where Jamiro was pushed for 50 minutes,” head coach Jim Curtin said after training on Wednesday. “We’ll obviously have to see how his body responds but overall great to have him back in the group.”

Monteiro went down with an ankle sprain after being tackled from behind on a harsh challenge from Sacha Kljestan in Orlando on July 3. Kljestan was sent off with a straight red card for the tackle and ended up earning an additional game suspension.

The Union have earned four points in the four games he has missed, but have been outscored 10-4, including two 4-0 defeats on the road to Real Salt Lake and Montreal Impact.

“I think you guys have seen over the four games we’ve missed him how important he is to our group, to the defense to the offense on both sides of the ball,” Curtin said.

Curtin noted that his star midfielder showed some rust back on the field, but overall had a good day training.

Whether he will dress and perhaps more importantly whether he will start will be the big question heading into Sunday’s game at Audi Field.

Curtin also noted on Wednesday that right back Olivier Mbaizo is expected to get minutes with Bethlehem Steel FC today in their game at 5 p.m. against Hartford Athletic at Talen Energy Stadium. Mbaizo has been out since late June, recovering from a surgery to repair a meniscus.