After missing Orlando City’s last two matches, star striker Dom Dwyer is inching closer to his return to the pitch.
Dwyer (lower body) was training off to the side on Wednesday. It was the first time since before the Lions’ match against Atlanta United that he’s been seen at training during the portion open to the media.
Coach Jason Kreis said he’s hopeful Dwyer will be available for selection this weekend – though the coach said something similar last week and Dwyer didn’t play.
Dwyer is still considered day-to-day.
“We think it’s very close,” Kreis said after training on Wednesday.
Orlando City hasn’t won a match this season (0-4-1) without Dom Dwyer in the lineup. He has six goals so far this season.
“For me it’s not about Dom Dwyer or not Dom Dwyer,” Kreis said after Orlando City’s 2-1 loss to the Chicago Fire.
“There were players on the field tonight that played very well, that gave enough on most nights to win games. It’s about making the plays when it counts the most. Again, I don’t want to really say that if we have Dom in there we win the game. No, we had players out there that played well enough, performed well enough and should have been able to finish off that game.”
Centerback Chris Schuler underwent surgery for a broken bone in his left arm on Tuesday. Club officials said the plan is for him to be available for Orlando City’s June 9 match against the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Centerback Lamine Sané is dealing with a knee injury he suffered during training last week. Kreis said the club is going to be cautious with the injury due to Sané’s past knee issues.
“At first glance, we’re all thinking it’s not something negative or not such a big deal – I still don’t think it’s a big deal – but it’s a knee issue,” Kreis said. “He’s had knee issues in the past. We need to be careful with that situation. We need to push him when we can push him and we need to pull back when we need to pull back because we don’t want to be playing players and lose them for six or eight weeks.
“Our intention is always to try to limit the time players spend out. Sometimes that means you have to make the decision to hold them from games so you don’t lose them for long stretches.”
Orlando City (6-5-1, 19 points) returns to action on Saturday at NYCFC (7-3-3, 24 points).