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San Jose Earthquakes training report: Darren Huckerby returns to Buck Shaw

The San Jose Earthquakes welcomed Darren Huckerby to training on Tuesday morning, and the former winger looked good in his return to Buck Shaw Stadium. While he made it clear he was not there on trial and that he was well past retirement -- the hip was feeling okay, but his competitive days ahead will be spent as a coach and not a player -- Huckerby outlasted the whole team, and spent the last 20 minutes of the session running stadium steps. He was also having fun with the guys as part of the team's daily shooting drill, even getting a couple past back-up 'keeper David Bingham.

Other quick news from training:

  • Ike Opara participated fully, and according to head coach Frank Yallop available for selection Wednesday night against DC United. The coach praised the effort of the center back given how he has had to fight through a sore hamstring since returning from National Team duty. Opara gave the thumbs up on his condition as practice ended.
  • Ramiro Corrales, after staying home during the Earthquakes trip to Philadelphia, practiced at full speed Monday and Tuesday, and he proclaimed himself fit to go Wednesday night. Yallop indicated that Corrales would likely play against DCU, but he did not elaborate on what changes to the line-up would get the Captain back on the field.
  • While Steven Lenhart was all smiles on Tuesday and was hopeful of starting against United, fellow forward Alan Gordon was only a part time participant in training. Gordon shared that the hamstring was feeling much better, but that he wouldn't be rushing back to action. Caution is the word of the day for Gordon, and he is not expected to return to the bench for another couple of week.
  • Big Victor Bernardez made a brief appearance at training, but he was still nursing the same knee he injured against New York. The center back is hoping to start with fitness drills as part of his recovery, but he is still three or four weeks away from making a return to full training.
  • Josh Suggs has been recalled from his loan to the Tampa Bay Mutiny and joined his Earthquakes teammates Tuesday morning. Suggs was not getting much in the way of playing time with Tampa, so the decision to bring him back to San Jose was an easy one for Yallop.
  • Shea Salinas spent the morning with the team, but still has his shoulder tightly wrapped in a sling. He was all smiles as he spent time with Huckerby on the sideline -- the two #6's hanging out together -- and remained hopeful that he could rejoin the team by the later part of May.
  • In the end of training shooting drill, the goal of the day -- perhaps the goal of the week -- was turned in by midfielder Jean-Marc Alexandre. With the session winding down and the players getting a bit more creative in their shot selections, Alexandre sent a thundering overhead kick past back-up 'keeper Evan Newton that caused a few "ooohs" from the assemblage. His teammates will have a tough standard to meet if they want to match the effort.

(Photo: Lyndsay Radnedge,