A long stint in the training room looks to be coming to an end for Jermaine Taylor who is closing in on his return to the field.
The Houston Dynamo center back injured his left shoulder against the New England Revolution May 18. The injury cost Taylor two MLS games and sidelined him for what would have been three World Cup Qualifiers for the Jamaican national team, the first two of which were losses to Mexico and the U.S. at home.
After three weeks of rehab Taylor was on the field for the first time Monday and has his sights set on a June 19 return when the Dynamo travel to face Eastern Conference leader the Montreal Impact.
“I think I’m at a nine right now,” Taylor told MLSsoccer.com. “I’m just trying to use the practice sessions and trying to get ready for the big one coming against Montreal. Overall, I think all the guys are ready to go to Montreal and do our best.”
Taylor’s injury was just part of Houston’s back line issues as ailments and suspensions meant a lot of shuffling as Houston finished the last two MLS games with different back lines.
With Taylor coming back and Bobby Boswell off of suspension, the Jamaican center back is sure that once their standard back four is back together – including full backs Kofi Sarkodie and Corey Ashe – the club will be ready to trudge on during the hot days of summer starting against Montreal.
“Guys have been fighting hard and everything but we still want to put the best eleven on the pitch so I want to be available for that game,” Taylor said. “By then we’ll have our guys back on the pitch and I think come that game we’ll have a full back four where all the guys have been active with each other and have that chemistry.”
Taylor’s return was one of several good signs at Tuesday’s training session. Forward Giles Barnes was back in training after leaving the Columbus Crew game with a foot injury. Barnes joined Cam Weaver and Omar Cummings as reinforcements for the forward corps while midfielder Adam Moffat, who is battling a knee injury, worked on the side.
Cummings’ return began last week and the forward got nine minutes in a reserve match against the Charleston Battery Saturday. Head coach Dominic Kinnear said after Tuesday’s session that the speedy forward is likely to see time when the club travels north to face FC Dallas in the fourth round of U.S. Open Cup play Wednesday.
“It’s good to see guys out on the field, Giles, Jermaine and Omar again and Adam’s doing stuff on the side,” Kinnear said. “It’s good to add more guys to the mix rather than have to scramble to have players jump in here and there. It’s good to see guys getting healthy.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com