Toronto FC is saying little about the future of captain Torsten Frings.
The MLS club said last week that the 36-year-old former German international had left its Florida training camp to return to Toronto to attend to “a personal situation.”
That has led to speculation that the club is looking to buy out the final year of his contact or that he continues to have health issues in the wake of hip surgery.
Asked Friday for an update on Frings’ status, a club spokesman said: “In regards to your inquiry there is nothing to update. We will be able to update you next week once the team is back in Toronto.”
The club is slated to return to Toronto on Sunday. It opens the regular season March 2 in Vancouver.
Frings has his season cut short last September by injury. But he trained in Florida and saw action as a substitute in a preseason game against the Columbus Crew on Feb. 9 before returning to Toronto.
While Frings said he had a way to go to regain total match fitness, he was happy with his progress.
Questions about his future were raised during preseason when president Kevin Payne said the team may have to buy out a contract to ease its salary cap crunch. Payne did not mention Frings by name but the German’s age, cost and injury history pushed him to the forefront of the debate.
At $2.43-million (U.S. currency), Frings was the highest-paid Toronto FC player in 2012 although as a designated player, only $350,000 of that counted against the cap.
Frings is some 11 months older than new manager Ryan Nelsen, who has spoken of his captain with respect since taking over the team.
Injuries have restricted Frings to 33 games in his one-and-a-half seasons with the club.
Toronto also signed a ready-made defensive midfield replacement in the figure of Brazilian veteran Julio Cesar over the off-season.
But earlier this month, Frings made it clear he wanted to play this year for Toronto.
“I have one just year [left on my contract] and that’s it,” he told The Canadian Press at training camp in Orlando. “I don’t want to play after. I want to have a good season with TFC. We want to reach our goals and that’s the most important thing for me now.”
Frings, who won 79 caps for Germany, joined Toronto FC along with Dutch striker Danny Koevermans in June 2011. The club was coached by former Dutch international Aron Winter at the time.