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Carles Gil eyes return with New England Revolution

The Spanish playmaker looks to bounce back from a foot injury in time for the New England Revolution’s clash against the Portland Timbers.

Carles Gil dribbles past Efrain Alvarez of Los Angeles Galaxy during a game at Dignity Health Sports Park on June 02, 2019 in Carson, California. (Photo by Katharine Lotze/Getty Images)

New England Revolution midfielder Carles Gil appears close to returning to full fitness after missing all of preseason and the first two weeks of the 2020 season with a foot injury.

The Spanish playmaker addressed his absence at training Tuesday and said he hopes to be available for Sunday’s clash with the Portland Timbers at Gillette Stadium.

“I never like being away from the team,” Gil told media through a translator. “I never like being injured. It‘s kind of a sour taste, but hopefully I’ll be back at 100 percent as soon as possible.”

The Boston Globe reported in February that a change in sports footwear had caused the issue to Gil’s foot, though there’s been no official word on the specific injury Gil sustained.

Tuesday marked Gil’s third practice with the Revolution this year. It appears the coaching staff wanted to exercise caution with bringing Gil back too soon, as the team’s first two games — a 2-1 loss against the Montreal Impact at Stade Olympique and a 1-1 tie with Chicago Fire FC at Gillette Stadium — were played on rough, artificial surfaces.

In both games, Diego Fagundez played as a holding midfielder while Gustavo Bou acted as a playmaker. Even with backup options, the team clearly missed the influence of Gil, its leader in goals and assists last season.

The last month and a half has been uncharted territory for Gil, who didn’t miss a game last season.

“I feel excited, I know it’s a big year for us,” Gil added. “It was tough, from basically the first week in the season I couldn’t train with the guys. But, I’m excited to get out there and see what happens.”

Gil sounds cautiously optimistic about suiting up against Portland.

“I feel good coming off the injury. We’ll take it day by day, little by little and see how everything goes when the game gets closer,” he said.

“It depends — it honestly depends on how I feel at training,” Gil added. “I imagine it’ll take a week, but who knows? It depends on how I feel at training, so we’ll take it from there.”

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