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Chris Kamrani
Chris Kamrani covers Real Salt Lake for the Tribune.

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RSL's Nick Rimando hopes he can manage injury pain without surgery

Goalkeeper Nick Rimando seemed pretty sure he will be able to pass a late fitness test and start for RSL in its home opener against the Los Angeles Galaxy at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday night.

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"Every day it has been getting better," he said.

Rimando practiced for the first time all week today, working out in the snow at Rio Tinto Stadium after missing time trying to treat bone spurs in his right ankle. One of them broke off during last weekend's season-opening victory at San Jose, and team doctors have told Rimando that it won't cause any internal damage and he can play if he can manage the pain.

"That's good for peace-of-mind," he said.

Although surgery can remove the spur, Rimando wants to avoid that if he can, and is hoping the spur settles somewhere in his joint that it doesn't give him any problems. So far, that seems to be the case, since the pain has eased every day and Rimando only has difficulty kicking the ball.

"All the movement is fine," he said, "all the jumping is fine."

Rimando plans to arrive at the stadium early Saturday and see how he might manage taking goal kicks — he might even taking a pain-killing injection — though he did not rule out having a teammate take them in his place.

"I'm trying not to have that happen, if I can endure the pain," he said.

Coach Jason Kreis said he originally figured it would be best for Rimando to just have surgery now, "so that we don't have to deal with this all year. But from the doctors' point of view, he's going to be just fine, and the end of the year will be just soon enough" for surgery.

Meanwhile, defender Jamison Olave also practiced fully for the first time on Friday, after missing time with his hamstring injury. He jumped into a few drills on Wednesday, before the Thursday session was canceled because of bad weather. Kreis said Olave also will need to pass a fitness test before coaches decide on a lineup.



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