Sounders Insider

Ljungberg up to probable for RSL Saturday

Designated player and former Arsenal star Freddie Ljungberg is now listed as probable to make his Sounders debut Saturday when Real Salt Lake visits Qwest Field.

Ljungberg underwent hip surgery in December, joined full training last week, played 35 minutes in a reserve game over the weekend, was upgraded from questionable in this week's injury report and practiced well Monday at Starfire Sports Complex. He even sent one goal past starting goalkeeper Kasey Keller, and celebrated notably.

"Every day he's able to participate in full practices is better: his timing is better, wiggling out of situations," Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said. "What happens is out there you start becoming more aware of the players around you and where to go with the ball on your first touch. So, he's progressing pretty well. He's still not 90 minutes fit, so we'll see how this week goes. We'll talk, and we'll figure out what's best for him long-term as well as short-term."

In other personnel news, forward Jarrod Smith left Seattle to join the New Zealand National Team for a friendly with Thailand on Saturday in Bangkok. Smith is on the Sounders' injured reserve list while recovering from a hip-flexor strain.

Meanwhile, goalkeeper Chris Eylander (knee sprain) and midfielders Sanna Nyassi (hamstring) and Peter Vagenas (knee) were limited to partial training. Defender Taylor Graham (foot) is out indefinitely.

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