Union coach Jim Curtin hopes to have Ilsinho return Saturday for the game against visiting New York City FC (1-2-3), but he wouldn't say for sure whether the Brazilian midfielder would be in the lineup.

Ilsinho has missed the last two games with a left hamstring strain. He trained fully on Wednesday.

"He says when he opens to do a full sprint, he notices it," Curtin said during his weekly news conference. "It is not painful but he notices it."

That fact will likely have the Union take a cautious approach with Ilsinho.

"It is concerning," said Curtin, who later added, "It looks like he will be available for selection."

The Union (3-3) are coming off a 2-1 loss Saturday at Seattle, when they had to play shorthanded after Roland Alberg earned a red card following his second yellow card in the 53rd minute.

Because of the red card, he is unavailable for Saturday's game. Curtin said that Tranquillo Barnetta and Leo Fernandes are options to replace Alberg. Barnetta has been working himself back from knee tendinitis and played 27 minutes against Seattle.

Curtin said that center back Ken Tribbett, who missed the Seattle game with a right ankle sprain, returned to training on Wednesday. Rookie Joshua Yaro, the No. 2 overall selection in the MLS SuperDraft, earned his first start last week in place of Tribbett.

The Union usually prefer that players are 100 percent before returning for fear of a recurring injury, so it wouldn't be surprising if Ilsinho and Tribbett had another week off.

@sjnard