Toronto FC gets positive news about injury to Italian star winger Lorenzo Insigne

TORONTO — The injury news on Toronto FC star Lorenzo Insigne is positive.

The Italian star winger, who hobbled off the pitch in last weekend's season-opening 3-2 loss at D.C. United, trained briefly Thursday and is listed as questionable for Saturday's match at Atlanta United.

That's a plus given Insigne's downcast expression in leaving the D.C. game.

"All in all, it doesn't seem like it's going to keep him out long," Bradley told reporters after training Thursday. "But I would say it's still up in the air as to what that means for Saturday."

Bradley did not detail the injury, saying only it was "lower body."

Insigne was running after the ball last Saturday at Audi Field when he suddenly stopped, holding his groin area while holding up an arm to tell the Toronto bench that he had a problem. The 31-year-old Italian returned briefly after treatment but limped off in the 34th minute, holding his head in his hands as he sat on the bench.

"It's hard to read players when they come off," said Bradley. "He was certainly disappointed to have to come off. He felt something. Already the next day, I think he was starting to feel better. It wasn't bothering him so much.

"Don't always go by the first reaction," he added. "You have to understand the emotion of players"

The star winger is the highest-paid player in the league with his salary listed at US$14 million last season.

Veteran midfielder Victor Vazquez is also listed as questionable for Saturday's game. The 36-year-old Spaniard took a shot in the ribs in a Feb. 1 pre-season game against Los Angeles FC in California.

"He was able to participate in training a little bit yesterday and today," said Bradley.

Midfielder Themi Antooglou is out with a lower-body injury suffered in pre-season. Forward Deandre Kerr is back in training.

Asked about the mutual decision to terminate the contract of fullback Kadin Chung, Bradley said the 24-year-old from New Westminster, B.C., had never really settled in Toronto.

"Last year there were challenges for him. I think he struggled a little bit," said the coach. "There were times when he missed being in Vancouver … Kadin's a great guy. He still growing as a professional."

Chung, who joined the team last February after three seasons with Pacific FC in the CPL, appeared in eight league games for TFC in 2022.

Toronto also announced Thursday that it has loaned centre back Luke Singh to Atletico Ottawa of the CPL. The 22-year-old., who saw action with the Toronto first team at the start of the 2021 season due to injuries elsewhere on the roster, spent last season on loan with FC Edmonton in the CPL.

"I thought he had a better pre-season than last year," said Bradley. "But I still think in order to continue his development he needs to be in a place where every day training and playing is better. I've seen some maturity in a year but I think that has to continue."


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This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 2, 2023.

Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press