Whitecaps' Christian Dean opens up on his frustrating battles with injuries

Christian Dean dribbles the ball against FC Edmonton (May 13, 2015)

The first two picks in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft, Andre Blake and Steve Birnbaum, each made their country’s roster for the Copa America Centenario this summer.

The man selected immediately after them is a long way from those bright lights.
Vancouver Whitecaps defender Christian Dean, the No. 3 selection in back in 2014, knew he didn’t live up to lofty expectations in his first two years in the league, when he totaled just nine MLS appearances.
But the big center back really committed this past offseason, showing up to preseason camp in great shape in a push for serious playing time in 2016. He felt great in preseason, proving to himself that he “was worthy of being drafted at that No. 3 spot.”

Then, days before the opener, Dean broke the fifth metatarsal in his left foot. He had surgery on the foot, and came back three months later -- only to get hurt again in just his second day back at training, going down with a knee injury.

It was one brutal setback after another for Dean, who wrote about his painstaking injuries and the fear, anger and sadness that come with them in an emotional essay for the Whitecaps’ “Their Words” series.

The piece is truly worth a read, offering a rare, raw glimpse at a talented athlete enduring a difficult spell. Check it out