Mattocks returns to full training, 'in contention' for weekend tilt at Colorado
VANCOUVER, BC – Fresh off a 2-0 weekend win over San Jose Earthquakes, Western Conference second-place Vancouver Whitecaps FC welcomed the return of striker Darren Mattocks to full training Monday at UBC.
It was the Jamaican’s first full session since he underwent a successful partial meniscectomy July 25. Whitecaps FC head coach Martin Rennie said the second-year striker will be in contention for Saturday’s tilt versus Colorado Rapids.
Monday’s session featured an up-tempo 10 v 10 scrimmage, which included Mattocks as well as centre backs Jay DeMerit (ruptured Achilles tendon) and Andy O’Brien (right hamstring strain), who made his return to Vancouver’s 18-man roster against San Jose.
“It was a good opportunity for [Mattocks, O’Brien and DeMerit] to get in a game, basically,” Rennie told reporters after the session. “We played for about an hour. They all came through it well and I thought they looked quite sharp and lively.”
Following the scrimmage, DeMerit continued his high-intensity one-on-one work with club physiotherapist Graeme Poole as the captain inches closer to full fitness.
Rennie acknowledged that DeMerit's return might take a little longer than that of O’Brien and Mattocks. The coaching staff would like to see DeMerit play in a “more formal game” before making any decisions, he added.
Most of the starters took Monday’s session off to recover from Saturday's match; however, centre backs Carlyle Mitchell and Johnny Leveron, as well as striker Camilo competed in the scrimmage. Former Vancouver Canucks centre Manny Malhotra also participated.
One noticeable absence was striker Kenny Miller, who scored his seventh goal of the season against San Jose. The 33-year-old striker departed soon after Saturday’s match to join the Scottish national team in advance of their highly-anticipated friendly against England on Wednesday, August 14 at Wembley Stadium.
The Scotsman will join the ‘Caps in Colorado and is expected to be available for selection against the Rapids.