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Darlington Nagbe returns to full training for Atlanta United

The midfielder is back from injury

MLS: Atlanta United FC at Columbus Crew SC Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta United central midfielder Darlington Nagbe is back to being a full participant in training, having recovered from a groin injury aggravated in a 1-1 draw with the Portland Timbers on June 24.

The initial timetable given by the team was 2-3 months, and here we are, with Nagbe returning right on schedule. The team went 6-2-2 in his absence. It’s unknown whether he will travel with the squad to take part in Atlanta United’s upcoming two-game west coast trip to Colorado and then to San Jose.

Nagbe’s return will give the Five Stripes a needed lift and fresh legs in the center of the park. In his absence, Jeff Larentowicz and Eric Remedi have taken on the lion’s share of the work. Of course, Nagbe’s return presents a tactical dilemma for Tata Martino in how he recompositions his midfield. Will Martino play Nagbe with Remedi—a combo that hasn’t played together yet—in midfield to give Larentowicz a break? Could Remedi be removed from the lineup? Could he play all three in midfield and remove one of Ezeqiuel Barco or Tito Villalba from the lineup? The most likely scenario of course is that Nagbe starts on the bench in the next two games (at least) to slowly ramp up his match mitness. But I, for one, can’t wait to see how this all shakes out.