More than a year after he tore his other ACL in a return to Orlando, United attacking midfielder Kevin Molino is nearing the end of the road on a long way back. Back to participating fully in training sessions, he is aimed toward his return in the team’s home opener at new Allianz Field on April 13.
He was injured March 10, 2018 in the season’s second game at Orlando, the team for which he played when he tore his right ACL in a 2015 friendly. Nearly three years later, he did the same to his left.
Now he’s almost back to becoming an option for Adrian Heath, who coached him in Orlando and was instrumental in bringing him to Minnesota in a big-money 2017 trade.
“I’m not hurrying at all,” Molino said. “It’s a year now. Next month, couple days it’s going to be 13 months and I’m getting there. I never want to feel I short-changed my teammates. I want to go out there with 110 percent fully ready to play. The coaching staff and everybody will make sure that happens.”
Molino worked with trainers this past year alongside teammate Ethan Finlay, who injured his knee early last season as well. Finlay is several weeks ahead of Molino. He has been a substitute off the bench in the season’s first three games and is itching to win back a starter’s spot.
Heath said Molino, 28, remains headed toward the home-opener return. Molino called himself eager to playing again with teammates new and old, particularly alongside Darwin Quintero.
“As you can see, he’s joining in on everything and we’ll up that now the next eight to 10 days,” Heath said. “The thought process all along was the home opener and at this moment it looks like he’s on course for that.”
Midfielder Jan Gregus was back at training outdoors Wednesday at the National Sports Center stadium, having returned from international duty with his Slovakia national team. So, too, was Quintero after he left the country last week to get his green card finalized.
Romario Ibarra and Rasmus Schuller are due back from their national teams Thursday and Francisco Calvo is set to meet the team Friday for its Saturday game at New England.