For the first time in almost two months, utility player Agustín Viana hopes to be a part of Robert Warzycha's gameday plans when the Crew welcomes the Chicago Fire on Saturday (8:00 p.m. ET / FOX Sports Ohio). The Chicago-born Uruguayan strained his right hamstring 20 minutes into his first match at leftback against D.C. United on April 27, after starting the Black & Gold's first seven matches of the season in central midfield.
Viana saw 30 minutes of action in the Crew's Reserve League match against the Montreal Impact in his return to play following a setback in his rehabilitation three weeks ago.
"I'm really happy because every player wants to be on the field, to train with teammates," Viana said. "[The time away from the field] was really hard, but I must very grateful with all the people with the Crew because the medical staff worked very hard. [Strength and Conditioning Coach] Brook [Hamilton], the coaches, my teammates: they helped me a lot in what really was a hard moment being injured."
Viana admitted there was some trepidation playing in Sunday's Reserve match, but is becoming increasingly comfortable getting reacquainted with the speed of the game.
"I was a little afraid because I've been re-injured one time," he said following Tuesday's training session in Obetz. "I was really afraid, but it was important for me to start again with confidence. I enjoyed training today, I wasn't afraid. I think every day will get better."
Viana is working to build fitness after his 30 minutes of action in the Reserve League. He hopes to show progress in training this week to compete for a spot in Robert Warzycha's matchday roster.
"I'm only thinking about each day and training hard. It is the position of the coach to decide. I think the important thing is feeling good, for one, and then training hard," Viana said.
"I'm working hard. I want to be on the field, but it's not my decision. I trust in the coach's decision."
After losing Eddie Gaven and Gláuber to season-ending knee injuries, Warzycha welcomes the competition and depth that a healthy Viana provides.
"[Viana] is a good player," Warzycha said. "I think it would be nice to have him on the field.
"Depending on his performance during practice, he's going to be thrown in the mix. He's going to give us some competition."