FRISCO, Texas — As FC Dallas players took to the pitch at Pizza Hut Park on Tuesday morning, there was a familiar face working with the trainers: David Ferreira.
The 2010 league MVP went through his first rehabilitation session with FCD's staff on Tuesday, spending nearly an hour participating in band work exercises, stretching and climbing a small set of stairs. The Colombian playmaker — who turns 32 next week — is currently unavailable to the media while he returns to the pitch.
But his appearance on the sidelines was a pleasant surprise for his teammates, not even two months after Ferreira underwent surgery to repair a broken right ankle suffered on April 23 against the Vancouver Whitecaps at Empire Field.
“He’s been with the boys in the locker room, and so this is the first time he has been out," FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman.
Ferreira had eight goals and 13 assists during the 2010 season en route to the MVP trophy. Many thought FC Dallas would suffer without their No. 10 after his injury six games into the 2011 campaign. However, the team responded to Hyndman’s message of stepping up their level of commitment, losing just twice in 17 games and advancing to the semifinals of the US Open Cup tournament in the process.
“First of all, I think he is really happy with how well the team has done in his absence,” Hyndman said. “He wants to come back to a team that’s successful and as he goes through the rehab — I know it was great to see him out there.”
With 11 games left in the season, Hyndman added that Ferreira could return to play next month.
“The next step is for him to get his boots and get him training and then, of course, the final step is to get him on the field,” Hyndman said. “We could have claimed him ‘season-ending injury’ and gone out and got another player, but we believed that we may get him back in September.”
Robert Casner covers FC Dallas for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter: @FCDallasBeatGuy