Mastroeni fit and raring to go after scary collision

Pablo Mastroeni

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The good news for Colorado Rapids fans is that midfielder Pablo Mastroeni has not suffered another injury setback after colliding with an opponent on Saturday night. In fact, he’s already back training with his team. But it didn’t come without a big scare.

“I thought it was a concussion,” Mastroeni, who suffered a premature end to his 2011 season due to a head injury, told MLSsoccer.com on Wednesday. “[But] I don’t think it’s a concussion. I feel good and just excited to get back home [to Denver].”

During the first half of Saturday night’s 1-0 win in the consolation game of the Hawaiian Invitational tournament against the Melbourne Heart of Australia, Mastroeni was involved in a 40th-minute collision that ended with the Rapids captain being forced to leave the contest with an unspecified head injury. Mastroeni did not return.

“When you’re a father and you have kids and have a family, life is really thrown into perspective,” Mastroeni said. “And to be as foggy as I was for three weeks back in October, any little that thing that hits my head the first thing I’m thinking is, ‘Am I going to feel that way again?’ I think [the injury] was more of the scare than it was the actual hit.”

At times, the long-term playing status of Mastroeni looked in considerable doubt after the 35-year-old former US national team player was diagnosed with a concussion after a game against Real Salt Lake last October. But after his concussion-like symptoms abated during the offseason, Mastroeni was cleared to resume training with the Rapids.

So it’s little wonder that Saturday’s hit left the tough-tackling midfielder wondering when, or if, he might return to the pitch. A thought he might not have encountered earlier on in his career.

“You don’t really worry about [these injuries] when you’re young,” Mastroeni said.