Canada's Christine Sinclair returns as Portland Thorns reach Challenge Cup final

PORTLAND — The Portland Thorns, with Canada captain Christine Sinclair restored to health, have made it to the NSWL's pre-season Challenge Cup final.

Wearing the captain's armband, Sinclair started in Portland's 2-0 win over OL Reign on Wednesday night at Providence Park. Sinclair played 69 minutes before being substituted.

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The 37-year-old from Burnaby, B.C., limped off the field in the first half of Canada's 3-0 friendly win over Wales on April 9 in Cardiff. Sinclair did not dress for Canada's 2-0 win over England four days later in Stoke-on-Trent.

Canada coach Bev Priestman downplayed the injury at the time, saying she was "not majorly concerned at this stage."

Sinclair missed the SheBelieves Cup in February with an undisclosed injury.

On Wednesday, Sinclair helped set up forward Simone Charley's goal to make it 2-0, with a penetrating run into the Reign penalty box

The Thorns have won their first three Challenge Cup matches to secure top spot in the tournament's West Division standings. The final is set for May 8.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 22, 2021.

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