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USWNT’s Crystal Dunn set to return for Portland Thorns

Crystal Dunn and the Thorns are in position to clinch one of two quarterfinal byes in the NWSL playoffs. (Amy Kontras/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

Crystal Dunn could make her NWSL return as soon as Friday, as Portland Thorns coach Rhian Wilkinson revealed Thursday that Dunn will be available for the team’s next match against the Orlando Pride.

Less than four months after giving birth to son Marcel in May, Dunn will be rostered and on the bench for the game in Florida.

“Every woman who comes back from having a child has a different journey, and it’s just making sure that we’re doing the right thing by Crystal and making sure we’re taking care of her,” Wilkinson said.

The 30-year-old midfielder trained with the Thorns until late in her pregnancy.

“At seven months, I didn’t think I’d still be training,” Dunn told the Oregonian back in March. “It’s just one of those things where you play it by ear. One week to another, you can be really groggy and not great. It’s been a joy to wake up on a Monday and be like, ‘Yep, I’m still feeling good this week.’

“Not every woman feels that, so it’s important to acknowledge that our pregnancy journey is so different. It’s been a real honor and joy to show up every day and be there for my team as best I can.”

Dunn joined the U.S. women’s national team for training camp earlier this month. While she did not make the roster for the September friendlies against Nigeria, USWNT coach Vlatko Andonovski said she is “ready to play.”

“In my mind, she’s ready to play,” Andonovski said. “We don’t know exactly how many minutes, but I would not be surprised if we see her on the field soon.

“She’s as ready and as intense as she’s always been,” he continued, “and as enthusiastic as she’s always been. She’s so energetic. I just love having Crystal back in camp and looking forward to see her in one of the next camps.”