Hesmer nearing return after being sidelined with an ankle injury in preseason

Veteran goalkeeper feels he is close to return

Following an ankle injury acquired early in preseason training, Crew goalkeeper William Hesmer was happy to return to full training Thursday morning in Obetz. The 30-year-old keeper feels good about his progress and he hopes to be back for the Black & Gold's next League match, the home opener against Montreal on March 24. 

"I'd say I'm 90-95 percent. I think I have one little hurdle to get over, and then I'll be good to go and ready to play," Hesmer told TheCrew.com.

Hesmer had to stay in Columbus to nurse his injury while watching his club open the 2012 campaign with a 2-0 defeat in Colorado on television.

"It was tough. After the past couple of years going (to Colorado), I knew it was going to to be a tough experience," the Crew keeper said. "We didn't look our best at times, but there's no reason to hang our heads. We have a long season ahead of us and hopefully we'll get it right on (March) 24th."

This weekend the Crew will host exhibitions against Michigan State and West Virginia on Saturday. Head coach Robert Warzycha hopes to see the franchise's all-time shutout leader between the pipes this weekend, but says it is not his decision.

"(Hesmer's status) will be determined Saturday morning. It's the doctor's call, but if he's good to go, he will play," Warzycha said.

If Hesmer gets time on the field this weekend, he feels he should be ready to go against the Impact next week.

"After a game against one of the college teams and another full week of training, hopefully I'll be sharp enough and healthy enough to play"