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Sporting Kansas City striker Alan Pulido returns to full training

Pulido missed last season after knee surgery
Alan Pulido
Posted at 2:33 PM, Mar 02, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-02 15:33:49-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Sporting Kansas City forward Alan Pulido is inching closer to a return.

He was a full participant Thursday in training as the club prepares for its second road match of the season Saturday against the Colorado Rapids.

“He was in contact and everything,” Manager and Sporting Director Peter Vermes said. “That’s part of the process for a player, getting back in there and taking a shot and going, ‘Oh, I’m OK.’”

Pulido, a 31-year-old former leading scorer in Mexico’s Liga MX and one of Sporting KC’s three Designated Players, hasn’t played since the MLS Playoffs in November 2021.

He scored 14 goals with eight assists in 33 appearances with Sporting KC during the 2020 and 2021 seasons before missing last season with a knee injury.

When healthy, Pulido is one of the best pure strikers in club history.

“I would say it’s soon, but, again, I want to put guys out there because they’re ready and prepared for success,” Vermes said.

Attacking midfielder Gadi Kinda, who also missed last season after knee surgery, is training in a limited capacity, but won’t crack the lineup anytime soon.

Winger Johnny Russell and left back Logan Ndenbe will remain sidelined as well.

“Both guys have hamstring (injuries),” Vermes said. “We want to be sure, when they return, it’s not a recurrence, so it’s going to be a little time.”