Major League Soccer

Xherdan Shaqiri hints he could play against LA Galaxy despite calf injury

Chris Smith
Shaqiri picked up a calf problem against FC Dallas last week.
Shaqiri picked up a calf problem against FC Dallas last week. / Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports
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The Chicago Fire head into this weekend's clash against the LA Galaxy with the possible boost of welcoming back Designated Player Xherdan Shaqiri from injury.

The Switzerland international is by far the biggest name on the Fire roster and will be key to sparking their attack into life as they continue to rely on solid defense.

But Shaqiri limped out of last week's goalless draw with FC Dallas in the 19th minute with a calf injury, leaving Fire supporters on edge and worrying about the status of their star man.

Last week, head coach Ezra Hendrickson revealed Shaqiri's status remains 'day-to-day' and that the key was not to rush the forward back into action too quickly.

But speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Shaqiri said there is a 'possibility' he could take to the field against the Galaxy on Saturday.

"I'm feeling good, to be honest," Shaqiri said. "We are all the same way, we are in a good way. It's day by day. So, yeah, I'm feeling good."

Asked if he expects to play on Saturday, Shaqiri added: "We will see. We are day-to-day, like I said before, but there is a possibility to be on the pitch."

Hendrickson maintained that he doesn't want to 'rush' Shaqiri back, but admitted he'll have a decision to make on matchday.

"That's going to be a game-time decision for us," he said. "It's something that we don't want to rush, so we're going to be very patient with that as far as that decision goes."

Shaqiri: MLS is growing, the quality is getting better and better

Even if he doesn't feature, Shaqiri has already managed five MLS appearances so far, scoring once from the penalty spot and creating 12 chances for his teammates.

Given the growth of MLS over recent years, Shaqiri isn't surprised at the high quality he's seen so far and is enjoying the league's competitive nature.

"I was not really surprised how good the league is because I knew how the league is growing, how the players are growing, the young players [are] progressing too," he said. "A lot of young players [are] going to Europe from MLS now. So there you can see that the quality is getting better and better every year.

"The teams, they are buying, investing in players, and they want to win trophies. The league is getting better. Every team is getting better. So the league is very competitive. I'm really happy to play here and I'm also enjoying the league to play in."

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