Fire's Pause returns from rib injuries ahead of schedule

Logan Pause solo

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BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – The week after Chicago Fire midfielder Logan Pause suffered two broken ribs and a collapsed lung in a win over Philadelphia on August 12 was a blur for the Fire captain, with chest pain forcing him out of physical activity.

His early prognosis had him missing four to six weeks, and at the time, that seemed pretty accurate to Pause.

But after 10 days, the collapsed lung had healed, and he started running and cycling on his own. Last week, Pause began practicing, and on Sunday, one week ahead of his projected return, he played five minutes in the Fire’s 3-1 win over Houston.

“If you would have asked me in the first week, I would have said there was no possible way I’d be back in three weeks with just the pain that I was in,” Pause said. “The last handful of days, I had done enough in training, and was confident enough that I could help. It was completely up to the staff whether they wanted to use me.”

Coach Frank Klopas said Pause’s ability to bounce back from a few knocks in practice was key to putting the Fire captain on the gameday roster.

The Fire were leading 2-0 when Pause entered the game in the 86th minute for Chris Rolfe. Klopas said he felt he needed to bring in his top defensive midfielder to quell the pressing Dynamo.

“He really wanted to start this game, which was a remarkable comeback,” Klopas said. “You have a guy like that, he’s the captain for a reason. From a health standpoint he was ready to go. We wouldn’t have risked it, but at that point I felt like we were pushing a lot on the left side with [Corey] Ashe, he was quality with the service and they pushed [Brad] Davis out wide.”

It finished 3-1 to the men in red, with Pause seeing out the match. The Fire now have a 10-day break before their next MLS game, at Toronto on September 12. By then, Pause may be at full speed.

“I’m still managing [pain] with the ribs,” he said. “It is what it is, and they said as long as you can tolerate it, each day I’ve been pushing along and trying to put myself in a position to come back as quickly as possible.”