FRISCO, Texas — Last week started well for George John, but it ended in disappointment.
The FC Dallas center back had a few good days of practice leading up to what was supposed to be his playoff debut against RSL on Saturday.
But then, during a light training session on Friday, the second-year defender injured his left hamstring during a set-piece drill. That kept him out of the first XI for FCD's postseason opener, which cleared the way for rookie Jackson Goncalves to start in his place. FCD won, 2-1.
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“It was a huge disappointment not being able to play in the game, but I’m glad the team did well," John said. "Jackson played really well and we got the result, so it was a good night overall for the team.”
Despite the setback, John is adamant he’ll be ready to play the second leg of the Western Conference Semifinal on Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium (9 pm CT, FSC).
“[The hamstring] is doing better,” he said after practice on Monday. “It was really unfortunate that I kind of tweaked it on Friday. I came in on Saturday, worked it out and it wasn’t 100 percent.”
This is the same hamstring John injured on Sept. 4 against Toronto FC, which forced him to miss the next five games. As a rookie, he was plagued by several similar problems in both his right and left legs.
During the regular season, John started 25 games and was one half of a solid central defense alongside Ugo Ihemelu, who also missed time this year after suffering a concussion.
Since Monday was a recovery day, John did some work on the side with the FCD training staff. He should be able to return to training on Wednesday following the team's regular Tuesday off day.
“George, I think, will be ready to go [on Saturday]," head coach Schellas Hyndman said. "George is very conscientious and doesn’t want to be the one that costs the team a game."
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