On his way back from a torn right quad muscle suffered in last season’s Eastern Conference Championship, Brad Davis has seen an alteration to his normal offseason regimen.
The injury has forced the 2011 MLS MVP runner-up to shift some of his focus from preparation and fitness to making sure he is healthy for preseason camp on Jan. 23. Nearly two months from the injury, Davis hopes to be able to go full speed when the balls roll on the field for the first time later this month.
Being ready, however, may require some patience. According to Davis, he has been running and working on the field “for a few weeks” but admits that he is not completely healed yet.
“Being ready to go Jan. 23 is the hope, but I don’t know if that’s going to happen,” Davis confessed to MLSsoccer.com during a phone interview Tuesday morning. “I hope it’s ready to go, but if not, the ultimate goal is to be ready for the beginning of the [season] and make sure to not have any setbacks and be 100 percent.”
Avoiding setbacks is important for Davis because of what lies ahead.
Davis and the Dynamo face a prolonged road trip to start the season while work on BBVA Compass Stadium is completed. With that daunting task ahead, the veteran midfielder knows the importance of maximizing every moment of preseason preparation possible.
“We’re on the road the first seven weeks,” Davis said. “We have to take the first day on the field and have to be working hard and make sure everyone’s tuned in because we have to be ready to go from our first game. We have seven on the road and we if don’t get points, we’ll be in a bad position, so we have to be ready to go on the road and fight at the first of the year.”
If playing it smart health-wise means not taking part physically from Day 1, Davis is prepared to still have a big role in making sure his team is preparing the right way. He returns as a leader on a team that could be facing its first season without influential veterans Brian Ching and Eddie Robinson.
“I don’t know the whole situation with Brian, but I had a pretty big leadership role along with him and some others,” Davis explained. “If he’s not coming back, I’ve got to continue to get better in that role and try and get the best out of myself and my teammates.
“I want us to set the tone for the season and I want the guys who’ve been here to show the new guys right from the get go what it takes to be on the team and what it takes to win a championship. I think that’s something we have to establish from the start of preseason.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.