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The Boston Globe

Sports

Flo Lechner mends quickly, ready to aid Revolution

FOXBOROUGH — In some ways, a broken business foot was nothing for Flo Lechner.

He has a scar running down his right ankle from the most serious injury of his career, a broken fibula and torn Achilles’ he suffered in 2006 that took a year from which to recover.

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So when a freak collision with teammate Jose Moreno left the right-footed defender with a broken metatarsal, he never figured it would derail his season.

It barely took him two months to get back on the field.

“The first two or three days you’re totally [damaged] because your body’s dead, but then it gets better and better,” Lechner said.

He opted against surgery, pushed relentlessly through rehab, and was on the sideline last Saturday for the Revolution’s 2-2 tie with Toronto FC, and the person least surprised was coach Jay Heaps.

“Quite frankly, he wanted to come back sooner,” Heaps said. “We kind of had to reel him in and make sure he took the proper steps. But he’s ready to go and it was a good addition for us.”

Lechner didn’t wait to make an impact.

Heaps wound up having to call on Lechner when Kevin Alston injured his hamstring in the first half.

Lechner ended up setting up Chris Tierney for the tying goal in second-half stoppage time.

“He came off the bench cold, he understood the speed of the game and understood what he had to do defensively, and clearly we know what he can do offensively,” Heaps said. “He’s got an excellent right foot.”

Especially when it’s in one piece. Lechner worked his way back slowly, doing some exercises in the pool, then moving up to running, and said now it feels 100 percent.

“It feels very good,” Lechner said. “To get the perfect fitness you must play a lot of minutes. That’s the key. We had hard work this week doing some fitness, but for me it was really good to be back.”

Alston is listed as out for Saturday night’s game against Seattle at Gillette Stadium, and Heaps said he’ll likely go with Lechner again, or call on Darrius Barnes.

Lechner worked alongside A.J. Soares, who said the biggest plus about Lechner being healthy was the added depth.

“Flo, he can play anywhere in the back line. He’s a really good player,’’ said Soares. “So him not being there, it just kind of thins you out a little bit.

“We knew he was ready. He’s so experienced, he’s played at great levels of the German system. You know that he’s going to be fine going against anybody. He did a great job. It’s always tough losing Kevin, because he’s a stud, but Flo did a great job.”

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With the international transfer window opening up Wednesday, the Revolution made a handful of roster moves that give them some flexibility, waiving defender John Lozano and declining the July 1 contract options on forward Bjorn Runstrom and midfielder Jeremiah White.

Runstrom and White were both signed in March, but Runstrom played in only three games, while White saw the field just twice.

“It’s never easy when you make some roster changes and moves, especially with guys who have been around since January and February,’’ said Heaps.

“So, it’s difficult, but at the same time we felt like it was best for the club if we were able to make some moves as the window opened.’’

With two open roster spots, Heaps said the team intends to make additions.

“We are having talks,’’ he said. “I’ve said since Day 1, we’re always trying to make the team better, and that means 1 through 28. We’re trying to build the roster and we’re currently trying to add.”

Midfielder Sainey Nyassi, who had been on the disabled list since March with a left hamstring injury, was activated.

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After announcing a week ago that they would host a matchup between Brazilian powerhouse Cruzeiro and Italy’s AC Milan Aug. 4 at Gillette Stadium as part of the World Football Challenge, the Revolution released a statement explaining Cruzeiro will not participate because of scheduling issues, but assuring they will find a replacement.

“We are aware of the reports out of Brazil that state Cruzeiro may no longer play at Gillette Stadium on Aug. 4,” the statement read. “When we announced the match last week, we were aware that they had a match scheduled on Aug. 5, but we were assured by the club they would be able to move that game in order to play in Foxborough.

“We still expect to host a match involving AC Milan on Aug. 4 at Gillette Stadium and we are reviewing options. We will have further comment on the match as soon as we are able.”

AC Milan was set to play three games while in the United States, starting with Champions League winner Chelsea July 28 in Miami and ending with Real Madrid Aug. 8 in New York.

Julian Benbow can be reached at jbenbow@globe.com.
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