NOTEBOOK: Bye week offers mixed bag for Fire injury recovery ahead of Red Bull clash

Nyarko in doubt for Sunday as Pause and Friedrich inch closer to return

Patrick Nyarko

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USA Today Sports Images

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. -- No team in MLS has been hit quite as hard by the injury bug as the Fire early this season.

While a bye week served well to get players more time to recover, it also took another casualty when Patrick Nyarko injured his hamstring in the team’s 1-0 friendly defeat last Friday to Minnesota United FC.

“It was a bad feeling because we got a guy injured,” Frank Klopas told Chicago-Fire.com. “We knew we had a lot of injuries but we obviously wanted to get some guys some minutes to play.

“We wanted to get some guys some minutes and I wanted more than anything for certain guys to get even 45 minutes because of the off week. We had a setback which kind of sucks with Pat.

On Tuesday’s updated Athletico Injury Report, Nyarko was listed as questionable with right hamstring tightness, joining fellow winger Dilly Duka with the same injury.

Midfielders Alex (right calf contusion) Michael Videira (concussion symptoms) and defender Steven Kinney (right quad tightness) remain on the list as well.

The good news to take away from Tuesday’s injury report is there are no players listed as Out with Logan Pause (quad) and Arne Friedrich (hamstring) continuing their recovery. Both are possibilities to make their season debut Sunday vs. New York.

“Logan and Arne are in training,” said Klopas. “That’s a good sign there are no setbacks. We’ll just see how they do this week.”

Pause actually was part of the game day 18 but didn’t appear in the team’s 4-1 defeat to Chivas USA while Friedrich is now into his second week of training after returning from two weeks of rehab in Germany.

Pineda on the Road Back

Another positive return to Fire training last week was that of Homegrown midfielder Victor Pineda.

The Bolingbrook, Ill. product has recovered from his offseason right meniscus repair to begin participating in full training and even saw his first match action in the second half of Friday’s friendly.

With so many injuries piling up for the Fire, the question of his inclusion in Sunday’s 18 was raised.

“He’s just been training now for a week or so and he’s been out for a long time,” said Klopas. “As he gets more training and picking up the sharpness, the better he looks here.

“We do need to get him in game situations with reserve matches. He’s a young guy and he works hard in training so in a matter of time he’ll be available for us. I think it’s just good to see him back out here.”