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John hopes to be back in 2-3 weeks

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. -- Chicago Fire forward Collins John has been absent from the pitch for a good portion over the past month, and everyone from Fire fans, to the organization and John himself wanted to know exactly what has kept him out of action.

After several doctors ran some tests, the Fire are going to label John's setback as gastrointestinal illness.

"Something was not very usual to have in my body, but I think that I'm done with it," John said Thursday. "It's not like a virus. Something didn't just enter my body all of a sudden. I think it was something that I was born with, like a family kind of thing."

John says he has improved immensely health-wise and hopes to be back on the pitch in the next few weeks.

"I think in maybe two or three weeks I will be ready to fully play," John said. "At the end of next week I can start practicing with the team, and hopefully get my fitness back to where it should be. And then hopefully I can play the week after."

The 24-year-old former Fulham forward has missed several league games and has played for only 476 minutes -- the equivalent of a little more than five full matches. In his first MLS season, John has contributed one goal (April 3 at the Colorado Rapids) and one assist, while making four starts in Chicago's 12 regular-season games.

The Fire (4-3-5) were expecting big things from John when they signed him in the offseason, but the illness has set him back.

"It's been crazy. There's nothing wrong with my leg," John said. "You still want to kick the ball, but you're like, 'no, you have to take a break.' It's just kind of scary. But I'm going to take my time and get my confidence back to actually know that I can return.

"I'm still alive ... I still can do what I can do best and that's playing soccer. So hopefully in a few weeks I can do what I should do and score goals."