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Portland Thorns remain hopeful that Tobin Heath can return to club in time for the NWSL playoffs

Portland Thorns midfielder Tobin Heath has been persevering with her rehabilitation from a lingering again damage away from Portland with the U.S. Women’s National Team employees. 

Heath has missed the whole NWSL season with the damage, which she suffered in preseason.

While Thorns coach Mark Parsons hasn’t put a selected timeline on Heath’s restoration, he reiterated Wednesday that she is making progress and he hopes she may be out there to return to the club in time for the NWSL playoffs in October. The prime 4 groups in the NWSL make playoffs.

“I’m not going to get into timelines,” Parsons stated. “At some point, she’s going to come back to Portland to finish the rehab and we’re hopeful to get her back for playoffs… Praying and dreaming, she comes back for playoffs.”

The club had initially deliberate for Heath to make her debut on June 17, however made the choice to take a step back with her rehab when it turned clear that she wanted extra time to get again to full health. 

The Thorns put Heath on the 45-day disabled record in late June to open up a roster spot.

Portland has sorely missed Heath this season. The world-renowned midfielder led the NWSL in assists with 10 in 2016 and was a finalist for league MVP. Heath was additionally named U.S. Soccer’s Female Player of the Year in 2016. 

“She’s so positive and driven, but at the same time it’s going to take time to get it right,” Parsons stated. “Unless it goes right and we get it right, there’s more months added. My own personal thoughts are she is one of the very best players in the world right now… My opinion is get it right and get her 100 percent healthy so she can pick up where she left off.”

— Jamie Goldberg |

503-853-3761 | @jamiebgoldberg

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