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Real Salt Lake: With homestand looming, RSL players battling to get healthy

Published: Wednesday, April 17 2013 6:45 p.m. MDT

Robbie Findlay chases the ball shortly before scoring Real's one goal of the night during Real Salt Lake's match against the Houston Dynamo at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, UT on Saturday, August 4, 2007. Photo by Kristin Nichols / Deseret Morning News

Kristin Nichols, Deseret Morning News

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SANDY— The injury bug may be biting Real Salt Lake right now, but help is on the way.

When RSL opens its first of three consecutive home matches at Rio Tinto Stadium this Saturday, manager Jason Kreis will have Robbie Findley at his disposal, given the forward's recovery from a recent adductor injury.

"I was able to go through a full practice Friday and again today," said Findley after Wednesday's training session. "It feels good, and I'm ready to go."

Findley sustained the injury just after scoring the first goal in the Claret and Cobalt's 2-1 victory over Seattle.

RSL fans will be anxious to see if Findley can continue the goalscoring trend. With nine of the next 14 upcoming games at Rio Tinto, fans should get a pretty good look at the Findley it has longed to see.

"We usually create a lot of opportunities for ourselves in front of our fans, so I'm excited — whether it's coming off the bench and getting back in there and continue scoring goals," said Findley. "It's kind of disappointing to score and get injured, but it is what it is and I'm ready to go now."

Defender Chris Wingert has made tremendous strides in his return from foot surgery and capped off two weeks of complete training by logging a full 90 minutes in Sunday's reserve league match.

"I was excited to play a full match. It was good for my fitness, and I'm just trying to get a little bit sharper as we go through," said Wingert. "For the last week or two I think it's more of getting the rest of my body sharp and ready. The foot's fine, so that's good."

Although Wingert isn't likely to be tabbed by Kreis in Saturday's match versus Chivas USA, it is possible the defender could get his first start of the season in the following two games at Rio Tinto Stadium.

"I'm ready at this point. (It is just) once Jason feels confident with me. Obviously the other guys have been doing great, so I understand he's in a tough spot. But I'm excited to hopefully get back out there soon," said Wingert.

In midfield, RSL captain Kyle Beckerman will likely be questionable for Saturday's match.

Beckerman was absent for most of Wednesday's training session at America First Field, departing early for a medical assessment back at Rio Tinto Stadium.

"We'll call it a dislocated rib, but it's essentially not," said Kreis, referring to the Beckerman injury. "It's really (where) the cartilage meets the bone and it just popped out of place."

SEBA SURGERY: Sebastian Velasquez underwent successful surgery on his right hand Tuesday and participated with the team at Wednesday's practice.

"Surgery went well. They put my hand in a splint, and now I'm just recovering and trying to get back as soon as possible," he said.

The 22-year-old made light of the situation when asked by reporters about his recovery.

"Good thing you play football with your feet," he smiled.

BOTTOM DWELLERS: After finishing last in the Western Conference in 2012, Chivas USA has surged thus far in the 2013 campaign. The Goats are currently in second place in the West with 10 points, with RSL sitting comfortably with eight points.

"My feeling in this league is the team that wants it in the worst way, oftentimes gets it," said Kreis. "From that sense I'm not surprised at what I see — a team that works extremely hard and has picked up points because of that. I preach that to my team as well."

Twitter: TheConner88

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