FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Many players scamper away from Gillette Stadium to head to warmer climates once their duties have concluded for the season.
New England Revolution defender Kevin Alston, however, bucked the trend as he attempted to eradicate a lingering concern.
After toiling through a year marred by three separate instances of hamstring troubles, Alston and the Revolution medical staff decided the best course of treatment involved him spending much of the winter in the training room to address the issue.
“It went well,” Alston told MLSsoccer.com. “I was here for the majority of the break – up until Christmas – doing rehab. Then I was back home [in Maryland], working in Delaware with a guy who has worked with the national team.”
Alston's decision to spend the majority of the offseason working on his balky left hamstring appears to have produced results. The third-year fullback is now fit enough to participate in training sessions with his teammates as he continues along the road back to full and unencumbered fitness.
[inline_node:301211]“It feels good, but it's a process still,” Alston said. “I've been out for so long that it's hard to come back and go full speed ahead, but I'm making sure I'm monitoring it and staying healthy.”
Revolution coach Steve Nicol said the team is not adding any special restrictions to Alston's regimen to ward off any potential recurrences, but Alston notes that an ounce of caution and a dash of prevention remains essential as he navigates his way through preseason.
“It's all a matter of just watching it,” Alston said. “[The fitness work] isn't too bad. It's not the type of strain you feel if you're playing every day on top of it. I just need to make sure I'm not feeling anything, and, if I do feel anything, that I need to address it ahead of time rather than later.”
The mixture of hard work and measured patience has served Alston well to this point. While Alston said he still needs to strengthen the fibers in his troublesome left hamstring, he hopes that his diligent efforts will yield an injury-free training camp and regular season.
“The whole goal is that I work up that strength so I'm able to go 100 percent in those friendlies,” Alston said. “It's healthy now, but it's still not 100 percent strength-wise, compared to my [right] one. I'm still trying to build it up.”