TUKWILA, Wash. — Seattle Sounders FC removed striker O’Brian White from the disabled list on Tuesday, completing the striker’s comeback from a dangerous blood clot earlier in the season.
Coach Sigi Schmid confirmed that White, 25, may be ready to play a role against the Colorado Rapids on Saturday or Manchester United the following Wednesday.
“He’s been working pretty hard, so we have to see where he’s at physically,” Schmid said.
In April, the Jamaican underwent emergency surgery to remove the potentially life-threatening blood clot in his left leg. At the time, he was one of Sounders FC’s best attackers, leading the team with two goals and two assists in seven starts.
With White on blood-thinning medication after the surgery, it wasn’t known how long he would be sidelined. Schmid said his recovery was helped by coming off the medication earlier rather than later.
“If [he] would have had to stay on blood-thinners, then participating in a contact sport is a lot more difficult,” Schmid said.
White has been training on the side for the past couple months but has yet to play in a competitive match. The forward indicated that he’d be comfortable with a reserve role as he regains match fitness.
“I feel like I’m ready to play, especially coming from the bench and playing limited minutes,” White said.
The former Toronto FC forward first noticed the injury when he experienced periodic numbness in the leg during Seattle’s training sessions. After initially self-diagnosing the numbness as a reaction to cold weather, White went to team doctors for assistance. It took an ultrasound to discover the clot, which was deep in his left thigh.
The nature of the injury gave White pause. If a blood clot moves to the brain, it could cause a serious or possibly fatal stroke.
“It definitely changes the way you feel about everything,” said the soft-spoken White. “Anything could happen at any given time. It’s good thing the doctors found it early and got it out. Now it’s back to playing.”
The Sounders received more good news on the injury front. The knee injury Jhon Kennedy Hurtado suffered on Sunday against Portland isn’t as serious appeared.
An MRI on Monday revealed damage to the MCL in the defender’s right knee, rather than a more serious ACL or meniscus injury. Schmid said Tuesday that while Hurtado will be out for this week’s matches, he doesn’t consider this to be a long-term injury.
Andrew Winner covers the Seattle Sounders for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewWinnerMLS