BRIDGEVIEW, Ill – Finally, the Chicago Fire may be able to use their newest player this week.
Chris Rolfe worked with a soccer ball during Tuesday's training session after more than a month of jogging and riding a stationary bike following an ankle sprain suffered during his second practice with the club.
Rolfe was signed on April 16, but has yet to appear for the club. While he won’t play Wednesday against FC Dallas (7:30 pm CT, MLS LIVE), manager Frank Klopas indicated there is a chance that Rolfe could be available for selection on Saturday when the Fire head to Columbus.
“He looked pretty good out there today when I saw him out there striking a ball and running around,” Klopas said about his forward, who made his return to Chicago after a three-year stint with Aalborg FK in the Danish Superliga. “It’s just a matter of days until he’s available to start training full-on with the team.”
Rolfe is still feeling pain with every step he takes, but he says the injured ligaments in his ankle have healed.
“The only day you don’t play with pain is the first day of preseason,” said the 29-year-old Rolfe. “This is a little different. It’s quite painful. But that’s a realization that I will have to play through this pain.”
Rolfe still hasn't played soccer with any contact – that should come later this week – and he warned that meshing with his new Fire teammates make take some time.
“I think sometimes people don’t understand the complexity [of] trying to mesh with a team and to become a unit with all of the players,” Rolfe said. “Sometimes it happens right away, and sometimes it takes time, and sometimes it never happens. I guarantee you that when I get out there [I will] try to form a partnership with whoever’s up [top].”