Timbers hope Mabiala (ankle) will be set for MLS Cup
Field Level Mediaon
Portland Timbers defender Larrys Mabiala is aiming to return from a one-game injury absence to play Saturday in the MLS Cup at Atlanta United.
Mabiala sustained an ankle injury during the opening leg of the Western Conference final, a scoreless draw against visiting Sporting Kansas City on Nov. 25, and he was stretchered off.
Bill Tuiloma, who replaced Mabiala in the 19th minute, then played the full game in place of Mabiala in the second leg of the West final on Thursday. The Timbers beat SKC 3-2 to advance to the league final.
Portland coach Giovanni Savarese told the Oregonian that Mabiala completed most of the team's Tuesday practice and that he was scheduled to be a full participant Wednesday.
Regarding the chances of Mabiala playing on Saturday, Savarese told the newspaper, "It's looking pretty good."
Mabiala, 31, was born in France but has played internationally for the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He played for France's Paris Saint-Germain and Nice and Turkey's Karabukspor and Kayserispor before coming to Portland in 2017.
In 34 games (all starts) this year, including the regular season and the postseason, Mabiala has five goals and one assist.