Hello Fire fans! I must start by apologizing for my absence in the last six months. It has been a tough time, but things are finally looking up and I have been making serious progress lately.
This injury started about a year ago when Robin Fraser received a red card for a tackle against me in Colorado. Following that incident I had a little swelling and some pain in my right ankle for the rest of the season. It did not seem like a huge problem at first and I could play through the pain rather easily. At the end of the season the medical staff and I made the decision to wait a month and see if the pain and swelling would subside.
In January things were not better. They had actually gotten worse. I went to an ankle specialist in Baltimore named Dr. Myerson and he felt that it was a very serious injury that required surgery and we scheduled it for the next day. Essentially, I had a hole the size of a quarter in the articular cartilage and a cyst had formed at the base of the tibia bone.
Dr. Myerson scoped to clean up the cartilage and do a bone graft where the cyst developed. A long story short, we believe that the procedure has worked and I have recently rejoined training. I feel strong running, jumping, cutting and striking the ball. These are all good signs and I hope to start contributing on the field within two to three weeks. My biggest obstacle in terms of preparing myself to play right now is the lack of training sessions that our team has scheduled because of all of the upcoming matches.
As this is being written I am in Richmond, Virginia, with the team as we prepare to play in the quarterfinals of the Open Cup. We have obviously gone through a tough stretch lately, which has made it even harder to be injured. Throughout these last nine games we have been forced to play with so many different line-ups and players because of the national team games and injuries. And now losing DaMarcus Beasley to Europe certainly doesn't help the equation.
I have always felt that in order to get on a roll that you need to have almost the same team on the field game after game. Players need to play next to guys that they understand and trust for an extended period of time to form relationships. We have been missing that chemistry because some guys are gone or hurt and others have not performed well enough to earn a start for the following game. I feel that this is the reason why we have missed good team performances in recent matches.
Over the years Chris Armas and I have developed a very good relationship and we can always count on each other to be in spots were we need each other, both with and without the ball. It is a hard thing to teach young players because this kind of reliability is hard to put your finger on. It requires awareness, understanding, seeing ahead of the game, and an ability to think on your feet.
Now, all of this being said I believe that our last four or five games have actually been a step in the right direction. We have had good stretches in recent matches but we have not been able to put it all together for an entire 90 minutes. And we actually played a great match against Columbus in the first round of the Open Cup. I feel that we have had indicators lately that lead me to believe that we are close to turning the corner.
My job when I get back will be to try and give us a booster shot and help fine tune a lot of the little things that we can do better as a team. I am extremely excited about being healthy again and I still feel very good about our opportunity for late season success this year. Bottom line: Hang in there because we will put a team on the field that can and will compete for some Cups.