TORONTO - There was a welcome sighting of Toronto FC star Lorenzo Insigne running with a trainer Friday while the rest of the team warmed up before training on a damp day at BMO Field.

But the former Napoli captain, who has not played since March 23 when he hobbled off the field with a hamstring injury in first-half stoppage time of the 2-0 win over visiting Atlanta United, is still some weeks away.

Toronto hosts the New England Revolution on Saturday.

“I'd like to frighten New England and say he's close (to returning) but he's not close yet,” coach John Herdman said with a rueful smile after practice Friday. “ He's got another couple of weeks at least - two to three weeks would be what we're looking at. But it's getting closer.

“It was exciting to see him today. You get a bit of a lift. And he was kicking a ball as well, which was nice.”

The 32-year-old Insigne, whose salary of US$15.4 million was second only to Lionel Messi's US$20.4 million last season, was treated with kid gloves during the pre-season after injuries limited him to four goals in 20 league appearances for TFC last year.

It seemed to be working with a pair of strikes voted MLS goal of the week against New England and Charlotte. But his momentum was halted by the hamstring injury and initial prognosis of six weeks recovery time.


This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 19, 2024