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Hurtado ready to regain spot in Sounders' backline

A torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee ended the 2010 season for Seattle defender Jhon Kennedy Hurtado after just two months, but he's showing no ill effects so far during the Sounders' preseason camp. Hurtado had hoped to return by the end of last season, but Coach Sigi Schmid instead placed him on season-ending injured reserve and went with Tyrone Marshall, Jeff Parke and Pat Ianni in the back. For the the second straight season in MLS, Seattle won the U.S. Open Cup and made the playoffs yet this time around Hurtado watched from the bench.

"Every player wants to play," Hurtado said. "I went eight months without playing and all I could do while on the injured list was recover. It was so frustrating, but he made me understand the reason I went on injured reserve and that calmed me down."

With Marshall having departed during the offseason, Hurtado's recovery is especially important to the Sounders, who were eliminated in the playoffs by Los Angeles in the first round.

"I'm 100 percent now," Hurtado said, "but it's one thing for me to say that. I have to keep building my confidence. The only little thing is that I have to not think about favoring my knee, and if I play with courage and heart, everything will be OK."

Read the whole story at Seattle Times »

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