When speaking with media members, Michael Bradley often tends to strike an introspective, bigger-picture tone.
That again applied earlier this week when the Toronto FC midfielder discussed his return from ankle surgery in late January. The COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing 2020 MLS season suspension has given him more time to recover, but he’s paying little mind to that.
“In times like this you look around and we all realize that there’s so many more important things than sports and whether I miss two games, three games, five games, 10 games, 15, whatever,” Bradley told reporters. “These are trivial things when you compare to other things that are going on in the world right now. It doesn’t really matter.”
Even with the league-wide training moratorium in place through April 24, Bradley has been able to rehab some at the BMO Training Ground in Toronto. The longtime US men’s national team midfielder said that process “hasn’t missed a beat,” and that he even has a home gym.
Bradley, initially slated to miss four months as he recovered, would likely miss zero MLS games were the season to return this summer. Right now, games are on pause through at least June 8.
"Selfishly it’s the one little sliver of silver lining in all of this and I’d trade it away in two seconds for everyone else to be able to live their normal lives as a society, not to have lost the number of people that we have,” said Bradley.
The 32-year-old, who re-signed with Toronto this past offseason to a TAM deal, also addressed the process behind games and practices returning. He focused on the need for patience, especially with an unpredictable public health crisis reshaping daily life.
The short version: Raucous summer nights at BMO Field might have to wait for last year’s MLS Cup runner-up side.
“I certainly know it’s not going to be like flipping on a light switch and all of a sudden one day everybody’s back in the training facility and we’re playing games at a sold-out BMO,” Bradley said. “I think everything’s going to be phased back in very gradually."