Philadelphia Union goalkeeper Andre Blake is set to return to the field on Saturday in the home match against Sporting Kansas City.
The 32-year-old previously has missed Philadelphia’s last three games across all competition after suffering a groin injury in the March 11 home match vs. Chicago Fire FC. Blake picked up the knock early in the game, and attempted to play through it before making the early exit off the pitch.
But he’s now back in training, and expected to miss just under three weeks total.
“The hope is that he [Blake] will play on Saturday,” head coach Jim Curtin said during his Wednesday media availability.
“He’s the best goalkeeper that our league has and we’re stronger with him in the group. So he’s a great goalkeeper, he’s been a quick healer in the past. Hopefully everything stays on schedule… All signs are pointing to a positive return for Andre to the group on the weekend.”
In Blake’s absence, Curtin turned to veteran backup Joe Bendik. Though he started well, helping the Union advance to the Concacaf Champions League quarterfinals, the goalkeeper saw a decline with the 3-2 loss against CF Montreal and 2-1 defeat vs. Orlando City on consecutive weekends.
Blake is set to make a comeback for the upcoming game, alongside Daniel Gazdag and Jose Martinez, who were away on international duty. The inclusions would leave the 2022 MLS Cup and Supporters’ Shield runner-up “pretty much at full strength ” when hosting a slumping SKC.
In addition to MLS play, Blake’s presence would boost Philadelphia’s CCL aspirations as they start the quarterfinal series against Liga MX side Atlas on Tuesday.