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Originally published January 19, 2012 at 4:51 PM | Page modified January 20, 2012 at 11:41 AM

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Sounders' first practice delayed by snow

Snow and ice postponed the start of Sounders' preseason Thursday. Once practices get going, not everyone will be available.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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March 7: CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal, first leg, at CenturyLink, vs. Santos Laguna

March 14: Second leg, vs. Santos Laguna, at Torreon, Mexico

March 17: Sounders' MLS opener, at CenturyLink, vs. Toronto FC

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The start of Sounders FC's preseason training was postponed Thursday after travel conditions in the snow and ice were deemed too dangerous. Seattle hopes to begin practices Friday at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center in Renton, which has an indoor field.

Once training gets under way, weather permitting, the Sounders will start off somewhat short-handed. Three players are currently on national-team duty and will join the group in Arizona, where Seattle takes camp from Jan. 30 to Feb. 7.

Midfielder Brad Evans and defender Jeff Parke are with the U.S. national team in preparation for friendlies against Venezuela (Saturday) and Panama (Wednesday). Defender Adam Johansson is with the Swedish national team and played 90 minutes in a 2-0 exhibition win Wednesday against Bahrain.

The Sounders also have injury concerns. Midfielder Steve Zakuani suffered nerve damage in his foot after his right leg was broken during a game last April in Colorado. He was able to perform some drills at the end of last season, but his participation will likely be limited to start.

In addition, forward O'Brian White isn't expected to train with the team as he continues to recover from a recurring blood-clot issue in his left leg.

Coach Sigi Schmid said the question marks in White's recovery are the same from when the Sounders' season ended in November.

"The real question with O'Brian and the hurdle that we really have to overcome is once he's able to get out there on a full-time basis, is it going to recur?" Schmid said. "Because if you remember, (last year) he had the blood clot, he got back out there, played the 45 minutes in the reserve game and then it came back again. ... We're still a ways away from being able to determine that."

Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184 or jmayers@seattletimes.com. On Twitter @joshuamayers.

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