CHIVAS USA: Goats get healthier, or not

Jimmy Conrad and -- surprise! -- Blair Gavin are close to returning, but Paulo Nagamura has had a setback in his return from a calf injury, Michael Lahoud must comply with post-concussion protocol, and Seth Owusu has undergone knee surgery.

Just another day in Chivatown.

Injuries could deprive Chivas USA of at least half a dozen players for Saturday afternoon's Major League Soccer encounter at San Jose, but that's how this team rolls. Their depth certainly has been tested, and for the most part has persevered, in a 0-2-3 start.

But there is good news on the injury front. Conrad is asymptomatic following his concussion last month and was scheduled to meet with a neurologist Wednesday, the next step in MLS's post-concussion protocol.

He could be ready to go April 30 against New England at Home Depot Center.

“I'm getting closer. I'm on the mend, but I still need to do the due process and talk to this guy,” Conrad said Wednesday. “I mean, if he sees there's a little hitch in my giddyup, then I have to step back and go from there. …

“I don't think there's any rush to get me back -- it's a long season. I'd assume the safe bet is a week from this weekend.”

GAVIN IN GERMANY: Gavin, sidelined by a recurring hamstring injury (and thought to be far off in his return), also is targeting the New England game -- or May 7 at Real San Jose -- after making great progress since spending a week in Konstanz, Germany, with Dr. Kurt Mosetter, originator of “myoreflex” therapy.

“It taught me a lot about my body, and just how the body is a big muscle chain, and if one of the chains is weak, that could lead to [problems in] another part ...,” Gavin said. “It's a lot of stuff, where they're pushing -- they don't call it pressure points, but it's spots in your body that have a lot of tension.”

Gavin first injured his left hamstring last summer, had two major setbacks while trying to return to the field late last season, another in preseason camp, and then he reinjured it March 26 against Colorado.

“I feel every time I come back, I feel great,” he said. “I get out there, I'm playing in the game, then it kind of cuts out on me. There's got to be something that's happening. But I have to find the source.”

They appear to be physiological. Gavin's pelvis, he said, is rotated forward, which puts greater pressure on his glutes, and “that tension there goes straight to the hamstring.” The second-year midfielder is having to relearn certain body movements and strengthen the affected muscles.

“Obviously, I want to come back as quickly as possible,” he said, “but I don't think it's going to be this weekend. Hopefully, next weekend, and if I don't have that game fitness yet, maybe the weekend after.”

Gavin doesn't want another relapse, and if that means he sits a little longer than he's planning, then so be it.

“Now it's just time to solve it,” he said. “We've got to solve it. We've got to take our time, we've got to do things right. We're trying a lot of things, and, hopefully, this is the time it works.”

SITTING AGAIN: Nagamura, who returned to the field in last weekend's draw at Vancouver after sitting out two months with a calf strain, likely will miss the game in San Jose. Coach Robin Fraser says he is “just fighting through the calf thing,” that it's “going to be awhile before it's perfect” and that “it's possible” that using him against the Whitecaps led to a setback.

Also out:

  • Versatile Michael Lahoud, the starter at right back the past three games, who is starting the post-concussion protocal after hitting his head while colliding with teammate Nick LaBrocca in Vancouver.

  • Ghanaian defender Seth Owusu, who underwent surgery on the meniscus in his right knee Friday and is expected to miss about four weeks.

WORTH NOTING: Gavin's trip to Germany wasn't all work. He managed to fit in a Bundesliga game, watching SC Freiburg's 3-2 comeback victory over visiting 1899 Hoffenheim on April 9. “Just an unbelievable game,' he said. “That was the first time I've been to a European game, so a dream come true for me.” … Midfielder Mariano Trujillo has been declared fully fit and available against San Jose after missing last week's game with a hamstring injury. … The Goats have changed trainers, bringing in Brian Lee to replace Josh Beaumont, who had been in the position for five years. Lee has worked for Catz Sports Performance, which was founded by Chivas USA strength and conditioning coach Jim Liston.