Gonzalo Segares will be the first to admit he’s not used to watching Fire matches as a spectator. After all, one doesn’t move into the club’s top five appearance leaders by doing so.
But the ankle injury suffered in game two of the season at Portland has limited the 10-year Fire veteran to just seven first team minutes and a few reserve appearances since.
“He’s got a sore ankle and it’s been really sore,” Fire head coach Frank Yallop told reporters this week. “[Gonzalo’s] a warrior. The last reserve game he had an injection and it helped the pain so he’ll have a chance on Sunday to be more available than he normally is.”
Picked up in a trade just days before the season opener, Greg Cochrane has put in an admirable shift in Segares’ absence but was caught out at times in Saturday’s 2-0 loss at Columbus.
While Segares admittedly isn’t at 100 percent, the team faces a daunting three-game in six-day stretch starting Sunday with the LA Galaxy, followed by a trip to Colorado on Wednesday, before returning home with top of the table Seattle on June 7.
The quick succession of games will undoubtedly force Yallop to use multiple players and Segares could be called upon.
“I can go,” he told Chicago-Fire.com this week. “I’ve been doing this for a while now, pushing through and I’ve been getting injections for the games I’ve played with the reserves. It’s helped me to get through. I’m pushing and trying to get ready.
“I love this club, I always want to play and if it’s me on the team sheet Sunday, you know I’m ready to go."
The Daily Herald's Orrin Schwarz reported Thursday that Segares might have the bone spur removed from his ankle once the MLS World Cup break begins on June 8. Teammate Patrick Nyarko underwent a similar procedure Thursday.
If he does play, he’ll have some history to make as well. Segares’ seven minute cameo helping the Fire secure a dramatic 5-4 win in New York pushed him to 213 MLS appearances for the club, one behind iconic Fire captain Chris Armas for fourth on the club’s appearance list
“It would be an honor,” Segares said about the possibility. “Chris is a Fire legend. He led this team to some very big moments, won trophies and has his jersey up in the Ring of Fire because of it. He’s a guy I was fortunate enough to play with and learn from coming out of college. Equaling him would be special.”
Chicago Fire Top 5 Appearance List