Toronto FC resumes full training after being sidelined by COVID-19 outbreak

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Toronto FC has resumed full training after an outbreak of COVID-19 that sent players and staff home to self-isolate.

The MLS club had nine positive cases, according to figures released by the city of Toronto. That prompted the team to shut down its north Toronto training centre.

Its last full training session was March 3. Players and staff were tested daily in the interim as TFC worked with Toronto Public Health officials.

Some players were allowed to resume individual workouts last Monday. A club spokesman confirmed Saturday that the squad resumed full training Friday.

But the outbreak prevented Canada Olympic coach Mauro Biello from summoning young TFC talent for the CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship currently underway in Mexico.

TFC is scheduled to depart Wednesday for Florida, where it will play out of Orlando due to pandemic-related border restrictions.

Toronto is preparing for a round-of-16 tie with Mexico’s Club Leon in the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League, the region’s flagship club competition. The two-legged series opens April 7 in Mexico with the return leg to be played April 14 in the Orlando area.

Toronto kicks off the MLS regular season on April 17 against CF Montreal in Fort Lauderdale.

All three Canadian clubs will operate out of the U.S. until border restrictions ease. Montreal is playing out of Fort Lauderdale, home to Inter Miami, while the Vancouver Whitecaps have chosen Sandy, Utah, along with Real Salt Lake.

TFC also confirmed that young striker Ayo Akinola, who has been sidelined by an undisclosed medical issue, has resumed running. He has a medical consultation scheduled for next week with the team hoping he will be given the green light to resume training.

Akinola missed a January camp with Canada due to medical issues.

The 20-year-old had a breakout season in 2020 with nine goals in 15 games.

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Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press