The Portland Timbers have begun preseason training camp and with that come offseason updates.
Among them, few are on the minds of Timbers fans more than the status of electric midfielder Sebastian Blanco who tore his ACL on September 6th, 2020 vs. Seattle.
“He’s doing so well,” Savarese said Wednesday when asked about Blanco. “He’s pushing himself daily to make sure that he can come back as soon as possible. But also, we need to be careful and mindful that he hasn’t played in a long time and we have to be cautious the way we’re going to bring him back, but he’s getting closer and closer.”
The Timbers head coach said earlier this month he was optimistic Blanco could return to the Timbers in time for their April 6 matchup with CD Marathon.
“We know and we’re very hopeful that also Sebastian Blanco will be able to participate from the beginning, but it’s something that we still have to analyze in how he’s progressing,” Savarese said after the CCL draw. “He’s doing very well, but we have to make sure that we give the right timing for him to be able to recover.
Blanco had been arguably the Timbers' best player last season, winning the MLS is Back Tournament MVP after scoring three goals and dishing out five assists inside the Orlando bubble. In nine regular-season appearances last season, the Timbers designated player has two goals and five assists.
"You go back to the MLS is Back Tournament, he was the MVP," explained Savarese following the injury. "In this team, he is someone that is well-liked by everybody. He's a competitor. He's a motivator. He just makes a difference on the field. He's a very important player and... very important component on our team."
Blanco underwent successful surgery on September 14th with a timetable of an expected return after six months. March 14th will be the six-month anniversary of his surgery.