When John Thorrington revealed that he wouldn’t be available for the Chicago Fire’s April 3rd game away to the Colorado Rapids, the center midfielder made it seem like his left quad strain would be a short-term issue.
“It's my hope [to be back for the home opener on April 10th],” Thorrington said that week. “I'm doing everything I possibly can do to make sure that happens.”
Fast forward five weeks and it’s clear that Thorrington’s injury—which he termed a “muscle tear” on Thursday—is anything but short-term. The injury, originally sustained during the Fire’s preseason stop in Mexico, has shelved the midfielder for the first six games of the season. He has yet to return to full training and it is unclear when he will be able to do so.
“The hope is that I can make a steady progression,” Thorrington told MLSsoccer.com on Thursday. “The timeline is sort of a day to day thing. But I guess my hope is just that it’s as soon as it possibly can be. I’d love to be out there next week but I’ve sort of set myself these expectations that leave me disappointed. I’m just trying to take it a day at a time and hopefully put this frustrating start of the season behind me.”
Thorrington, who started jogging and doing minimal ball work this week, has undergone two rounds of Plasma Rich Platelet (PRP) therapy during his recovery. The treatment, which he also received last season while recovering from a sports hernia, injects the patient’s own blood into the injured area in an attempt to speed up the recovery process. The treatment has worked well—up to a point.
“The reason I was so hopeful initially was that I responded really well to the treatment and got up to 60-70 percent much quicker than we were expecting,” Thorrington said. “The problem is to get from 70 percent to 100 percent. It’s a much slower process.”
The recovery process is an incredibly frustrating—and incredibly familiar—one for the 30-year-old midfielder. Dating back to last season, he has missed 13 of the Fire’s last 15 games due to injury. Issues with pushing himself too far may have contributed to his slow recovery times.
“Hindsight is 20-20, but I do have a tendency to try to push too hard,” he said. “There are probably times when my body is sending me a signal that I need to ramp down my activity or not push so hard and I sort of have this stupid and unfortunate ability to sort of ignore that. Therefore I push myself probably farther than I should which is a very short term attitude because it might get me through that day but then I end up missing games which is obviously very frustrating.”