MONTREAL — Last seen at Impact training holding a pair of crutches, center back Adrián López was back on Tuesday – but as a spectator.
López (pictured above, right), signed from English side Wigan Athletic last July but suffered a right ACL tear during training only five weeks later. His season thus ended shortly after playing his first 44 minutes for the club, on August 21 in Guatemala City against CD Heredia in the CONCACAF Champions League. He was sent off just before halftime.
Facing the Montreal media for the first time in months, López vowed to return as the player he used to be – one that, admittedly, the Impact faithful never got to see up close in 2013 – but only when the time is right.
“I still need to do some work on my own before I start training with the team,” López told reporters. “But I think that, maybe, at the end of this month or at the beginning of April, I can start with the team.”
López followed the Impact’s offseason from Barcelona, where he started his rehabilitation after a late October surgery and updated the team’s medical staff on his progress every few days.
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Having finally met head coach Frank Klopas on Tuesday, López was scheduled to be evaluated by the Impact’s doctors and physios on Wednesday.
“After the surgery, you have to spend one month doing easy things,” he said. “Between the first and the third, you just start strengthening the hamstring, the calf and the leg. After the third month, you start running, and right now it’s the fourth month, so it’s time to do work on the field and try to do more football things.”