Blackhawks

Fire expect Friedrich back soon

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Fire expect Friedrich back soon

The Fire doesnt expect veteran German defender Arne Friedrich to miss much time after a right hamstring injury forced him out of Saturdays 2-1 win over Sporting Kansas City after only 29 minutes.

Friedrich was scheduled for an MRI exam on Monday, and the team reported that he had a Grade 2 hamstring strain. Friedrich, commenting on Major League Soccers website, said his injury was "just a cramp."

His status for the next match, at Portland on Sunday, is uncertain, however.

"I guess its just because I didnt have a preseason and then played three games in a week (actually nine days)," said Friedrich, who had gone six months without playing a game before the Fire signed him in March.

He said his hamstring was "pretty tight.A couple days before it felt like it was a little tired. Its not like a knife in my hamstring. Its just a cramp."

The Fire (4-2-3) got by Sporting Kansas City, the Eastern Conference leader, by moving Jalil Anibaba from the right side into the middle beside rookie Austin Berry, who was playing in only his second MLS match. Dan Gargan, who had left the previous game early with a sprained ankle, returned at right back when Friedrich left the match.

Coach Frank Klopas gave his players Monday and Tuesday off this week after its first heavy stretch of games this season. The next match at Portland is against the last-place team in the Western Conference. The host Timbers (2-5-2), who visit the Houston Dynamo on Tuesday, were an expansion team last season but won both meetings against the Fire.

Meanwhile, ex-Fire player Wilman Conde-Roa was arrested in New Jersey for aggravated assault on a police officer who was investigating an early-morning noise complaint. Conde was an MLS All-Star during his 73-game stint with the Fire from 2007-10.

Conde, who played Friedrichs center back spot with the Fire, was a starter at that position for the New York Red Bulls until a recent injury sidelined him.

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USA TODAY

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USA TODAY

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