Sounders FC defender Chad Marshall returns, inching closer to full training

Seattle Sounders FC defender Chad Marshall worked out with the club Tuesday for the first time since injuring his neck last week, but his activity was limited as he continues to work toward a full return.

Marshall was present at Seattle's Starfire training complex to work with the team's athletic training staff and begin physical activity. He is expected to begin jogging on Wednesday, a week after he suffered a sprained neck during a practice session last week. Marshall was held out of the team’s 1-1 draw against the LA Galaxy over the weekend due to the injury.

Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid said Tuesday that Marshall did not suffer a concussion in the training incident last week, which is good news for a club that has leaned heavily on the reigning MLS Defender of the Year this season. Schmid said last week he’s hopeful the veteran defender will be back in full form before the team’s penultimate game of the regular season on Oct. 18 in Houston, especially with a bye this week.

“He’s doing okay,” Schmid said Tuesday. “We’re starting to ramp him up. It’s just a matter of the neck pain and of him doing things. Is that pain going to increase or is it going to continue to decrease? It’s already decreased a lot, and hopefully it’ll continue to decrease.”

The Sounders started veterans Brad Evans and Zach Scott at center back during the draw vs. LA, and a costly giveaway by Scott led to the Galaxy’s lone goal of the night. The Sounders are ­­2-0-3 this season without Marshall in the lineup.

“We’re going to be cautious with it,” Schmid said. “The MRI showed nothing serious, which is good news. But it’s matter of, ‘We got this week, let’s be smart, let’s not be stupid, and let’s give him some time.’”

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