CHESTER, Pa. – Michael Lahoud doesn’t remember exactly when or even how he got hurt.
All he remembers is feeling some shooting pain come on randomly during a Philadelphia Union training session in early May.
“We went for a water break and the next thing you know I was hurting,” Lahoud told MLSsoccer.com. “I didn’t really know what was going on. It was different from any pain I ever had.”
Lahoud ended up getting diagnosed with a sports hernia and underwent surgery about a month ago. Calling the injury a “random, out-of-the-blue thing,” the Union midfielder has already missed the team’s last eight games and is expected to be out for at least a couple more weeks.
But he hopes to return sooner than that.
“My body has done some crazy things before,” he said. “So from the outside looking in, it’s probably a few more weeks. But it could be less than that. I’m definitely upbeat about it.”
Before being sidelined with the injury, Lahoud was a key, if often overlooked, contributor for the Union, playing in six of the team’s first seven games, primarily as a second-half sub in the defensive midfield.
Last year, after being sent from Chivas USA to Philly in exchange for then-captain Danny Califf, he started 12 of the club’s final 13 games.
“I felt like I was a part of something,” Lahoud said. “For me, the big thing now is still finding ways to be a part of the team. I think this gives me the opportunity to see if I can still impact the team in a different way off the field and kind of mentor some of the younger guys and stay connected and engaged.”
Lahoud hasn’t even kicked a soccer ball since May – “only in my mind,” he laughed – but he still has some ambitious plans for when he’s able to return to the field.
“My goal is to be more involved in the attack,” he said. “I love getting forward. I don’t mind doing the work defensively but anywhere that allows me to get forward, take risks, get more shots off, get closer to goal – that’s something I’ll look to try to do.”
Dave Zeitlin covers the Union for MLSsoccer.com. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.