D.C. United winger Paul Arriola remains a ways away from a return from the torn ACL he suffered during preseason, but speaking with club reporter Claudia Pagan in an interview, the US international said his hope is to play this season.
It echoes the same sentiment expressed a few weeks ago by D.C. coach Ben Olsen, who didn't rule out a return to competitive action for Arriola before the end of the year.
"It’s extremely hard to really tell a specific date," Arriola told Pagan. "There’s so many different factors that go into the day you actually play a game. For me, I hope it’s sometime this year in 2020. I obviously have a plan with the staff and it’s obviously a plan that I believe in and being able to train now day in and day out, I’m finally in the process of a return to play. For me, I think it’s just a matter of time.
"There’s gonna be multiple factors regarding how my knee continually reacts to the loads that I’m currently trying to increase. But if you asked me, I would love to play tomorrow. I’m just going to continue to do what I do. I have a lot of trust in our training staff and I know the coaching staff does have a lot of trust in them as well. So as long as we’re on the same page, which we have been throughout the whole process, I think when I return to the field will be the right time. But hopefully it’s sometime this year."
Watch the full interview below, where Arriola also discusses what it's been like watching the season from the sidelines, as well as his mentor relationship with homegrown attacker Griffin Yow.