SANDY, Utah — If there is one group that has definitely earned its money so far this season, it is the Real Salt Lake training staff.
From Nat Borchers, Chris Wingert and Javier Morales in the offseason or early preseason, to Sebastian Velasquez, Chris Schuler, Luis Gil and Kyle Beckerman in the last two weeks, RSL's treatment room has been at nearly full capacity.
The good news for the team is that, while they are still dealing with some injuries, the majority of the players have been able to overcome the obstacles and either remain on the pitch both in training and in matches. This week is no exception.
Schuler suffered a fracture in his left hand — the same injury Velasquez suffered to his right hand — against Chivas USA in the team's 1-0 win last Saturday, but after undergoing surgery last Sunday the only defender to start every game so far this season for RSL was back on the training field Wednesday.
"I feel great," said Schuler to reporters after practice. "I'd rather not talk about an injury. I practiced full today, so everything looks good."
Gil also returned to the training field on Wednesday after getting treatment all day on Tuesday for a gimpy right ankle, a knock that nearly had him take an early seat on the bench against Chivas after aggravating an injury he originally suffered playing with the U-21 national team.
"It's feeling a little better," Gil told MLSsoccer.com. "I just kind of landed on it as I was coming down from a header.
"It is the exact same thing. I just irritated it again. It is just there for a while. It just seems to linger."
Kyle Beckerman sat out of last Saturday's game and played only 29 minutes the week before against the Vancouver Whitecaps because of a dislocated rib, but he too has made a return to full training the last two days.
"It's feeling a lot better," the captain said to reporters. "It was huge just taking a couple of days, letting it heal instead of 'let's try today' and strain it and then try again the next day. It was like, 'let's just let it heal.' It seemed to be the right advice from the training staff."
Beckerman even took a little extra time for some sprints following training.
"That's the thing when you let something heal, your lungs they get caught up in this altitude. You just need to run a little bit more and get the lungs back," he said.