DALLAS — Former league MVP David Ferreira visited FC Dallas team doctors on Wednesday to evaluate the progress of his fractured ankle suffered last April, and he’s been given the green light to continue working towards his return.
Ferreira, who suffered the injury in the team’s seventh game of the season last year and underwent successful surgery in May, has recently increased his activity and participation in team training and is expected to return for the club sometime this season.
“He went to one of our doctors and was assured that everything is fine with his ankle, and that there’s going to be some pain,” manager Schellas Hyndman told reporters following the team’s 4-0 exhibition victory over SMU on Wednesday evening. “It may never get back to the way it was, and he may just have to understand that the pain is going to be there.”
Ferreira, 32, has yet to appear in any FC Dallas scrimmages or exhibitions this offseason. The club opens the regular season on March 12 at home against the New York Red Bulls.
Ferreira won the league MVP in 2010, when he amassed eight goals and 13 assists and led FC Dallas to their first-ever MLS Cup appearance.
“The more he plays, the less he’s going to feel the pain,” Hyndman said. “I think it was very reassuring for him, and his comment was, ‘Hey, I want to play tonight’, which we wouldn’t do. I think now he’s at that point of saying, ‘Hey, I need to get out there and play.’”
Though Ferreira has requested to return to game action, Hyndman is unwilling to put his attacking midfielder in live action too soon. When asked if Ferreira could see action in Saturday’s exhibition match against the University of Tulsa, Hyndman left little room for doubt with his answer.
“Probably not,” he said. “I think we want to build him into training sessions where he’s going full go and teammates still know that he’s injured rather than put him out there tonight where people don't know he's had surgery.”
With less than four weeks remaining until First Kick, Ferreira will have to adjust to playing with pain on a regular basis. Hyndman also believes there are still physical limitations for Ferreira to overcome when playing at full speed.
“I think it’s not so much the acceleration with sprinting, it’s the deceleration when he has to slow down,” Hyndman said. “It just doesn’t feel right.”