TFC’s Sebastian Giovinco on the mend from lower back bruise


New York City FC midfielder Yangel Herrera (30) and Toronto FC forward Sebastian Giovinco (10) battle for control of the ball during the first half of an MLS soccer game, Wednesday, July 19, 2017. (Julie Jacobson/AP)

Toronto FC striker Sebastian Giovinco, forced out of Wednesday’s 2-2 tie in New York with a lower back bruise, was reported moving and feeling better Thursday.

"The question is how much better can we get him between now and Saturday," Toronto coach Greg Vanney said upon the team’s return home Thursday. "He had a fair amount of work today. (Friday) will be a little bit telling, I think. If he can continue to make progress, we’ll see where he is."

Toronto (11-3-6) looks to continue its home unbeaten streak this season when it hosts the Colorado Rapids (6-11-1) on Saturday.

Giovinco left the New York City FC midweek game late in the first half after taking a knee in the right side of his lower back just as he was attempting a shot.

"From that it kind of locked up," said Vanney. "More muscular — it’s not like a hip-pointer or a bone or anything."

Giovinco returned to the field briefly after treatment but did not feel good enough to continue.

The Italian, who has nine goals and four assists in 15 games this season, has already missed time due to a quad strain, charley horse and bruised heel in 2017.

After the quad injury, sustained in a 3-2 win over Minnesota on May 13, he campaigned to return via Instagram but team doctors opted to wait a little longer to ensure he was completely healthy.

Toronto is already without striker Jozy Altidore, who is at the Gold Cup along with U.S. teammates Michael Bradley and Justin Morrow. TFC striker Tosaint Ricketts, along with Jonathan Osorio, was with Canada for Thursday night’s quarter-final against Jamaica.

Armando Cooper’s tournament ended when Panama was ousted by Costa Rica.

Ben Spencer and Canadian Jordan Hamilton are other Toronto forward options.


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