LAFC head coach Steve Cherunoldo revealed Carlos Vela had a 'productive week of training' after the Mexican international suffered an injury scare last weekend.
The forward exited LAFC’s match against Portland Timbers at half-time as a precaution. Given the player’s history, alarm escalated that he could miss the start of the 2022 season.
Vela spent significant time on the sidelines in 2020 and 2021 as he battled a recurrent hamstring injury. In two seasons, the player only featured in 27 matches. This came as a disappointment after he began his MLS career with record-breaking strides that earned him the 2019 MVP award and Golden Boot.
Cherunoldo has since confirmed that Vela is expected to play against Inter Miami on Saturday, and trained with the team throughout the week.
“We had a good productive week of training, able to get a few guys back as well from injury,” the coach said.
“Carlos, most notably, trained and will be with us against Miami. Carlos was feeling something in and around his knee. Nothing serious. He’s back on the training field after a few days. It was good news and bad news at halftime. So, nothing serious but he recovered very quickly and he’s fine.”
The forward is set to play an influential role in LAFC’s season after kicking off 2022 with a stunning performance against the Colorado Rapids, securing his first hat-trick of the season.
But despite his possible involvement, Cherunoldo maintained that caution will be prioritized given the length of the season.
“When we put players on the field they’re at 100% and there is no experimenting going on," he explained. "We’re not starting players who could possibly be pulled out after a few minutes. It’s a long season and it’s too early in the season to be gambling like that.”