Sounders' Obafemi Martins out of game vs. New England with knee injury
The Sounders' DP forward is still recovering from a strained knee tendon.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Latest from the Sounders FC blog
Marco Pappa wins Univision MLS player of the year award NEW - 12/19, 05:00 PM
TUKWILA — Sounders FC's Obafemi Martins has been ruled out of Saturday's home game against the New England Revolution.
The designated player was back with the team Thursday after leaving last week to have a knee injury treated. And even though Martins said he feels "much better," coach Sigi Schmid told KJR-AM radio that the forward hadn't recovered enough to play.
The Sounders hope to have Martins back for an April 20 road game at Colorado.
"The thing is we have to make sure he's healthy," Schmid said. "We can't shortchange ourselves and put guys on the field who aren't healthy or aren't in position to give 100 percent. ... With Oba, right now we've got to get him to that point and then we can talk about integrating him into the team."
In other injury updates, Schmid said the team would wait and see on Eddie Johnson's availability; the forward played 61 minutes Tuesday against Mexico's Santos Laguna but has been dealing with a hamstring issue.
Midfielder Brad Evans, who missed Tuesday's game with a calf strain, participated in training Thursday but is also questionable.
Forward David Estrada has been partially cleared to practice after suffering an eye injury two weeks ago, but doctors don't want him to head the ball yet.
Sounders bid farewell to CCL
Seattle has participated in the CONCACAF Champions League for three straight tournaments, but after elimination in the semifinals Tuesday, it is uncertain when the Sounders will be back.
The team didn't qualify for the 2013-14 tournament — berths are earned by winning the U.S. Open Cup (Seattle's most-used route), finishing with the best record in MLS or advancing to MLS Cup.
"Champions League has been part of our DNA over the last three years, so to know that the earliest we can be back in it is in (the 2014-15 tournament) is a little disappointing for us," Schmid said.
• Sounders FC announced all of CenturyLink Field will be open for home games June 8 (Vancouver), Aug. 25 (Portland), Sept. 13 (Real Salt Lake) and Oct. 27 (LA Galaxy). A ticket package for the four games goes on sale Monday at 10 a.m.
Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184 or email@example.com.
On Twitter @joshuamayers.