Atlanta United midfielder Darlington Nagbe battles Sporting Kansas City forward Khiry Shelton with goalkeeper Brad Guzan looking on during the first half in a MLS soccer match on Wednesday, May 9, 2018, in Atlanta. Curtis Compton/
Photo: Compton
Photo: Compton

Nagbe, Garza inch closer to return for Atlanta United

An already strong Atlanta United could be getting stronger with the returns of midfielder Darlington Nagbe and fullback Greg Garza.

Nagbe ran to the side while the team trained on Tuesday at its practice facility in Marietta. He suffered an adductor injury during the draw against Portland on June 24. He was expected to miss 2-3 months.

Nagbe, 28, was acquired by Atlanta United in December in a trade from Portland, which he helped lead to the MLS Cup in 2015. He has three assists this season and was a crucial factor in the team climbing into first place in the Eastern Conference.

Garza, 27 has also resumed running after he underwent shoulder surgery following a re-occurrence of an injury during the game against New York Red Bulls on May 20. He was expected to miss 4-6 months. He has 10 starts with one goal and three assists this season.

“Hopefully we'll be able to count on guys like (Darlington) Nagbe and (Greg) Garza as well as we enter this final stretch of the season, because the more complete and deep our roster is, the better off we are," Atlanta United manager Gerardo Martino said on Sunday.

The team on Sunday welcomed back Ezequiel Barco after the missed the three previous games because of a disciplinary hiatus.

Atlanta United is still missing fullbacks Sal Zizzo (knee) and Mikey Ambrose (knee), who are likely to miss the remainder of the season. Midfielder/striker Brandon Vazquez is day-to-day after suffering a minor injury during training last week. Midfielder Chris Goslin also sustained an injury last week that the team has yet to release a diagnoses and prognosis.

Atlanta United leads MLS in points (51). It will play at Orlando on Friday.

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