FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – It took far longer than Clyde Simms expected to overcome his surprisingly persistent left ankle injury.
Simms (above, right) first suffered the knock in New England's 4-1 victory over Vancouver on May 12. His ankle puffed up the next day, but the swelling soon receded. The pain, however, did not. Simms hoped the residual soreness from the tendonitis would dissipate sooner rather than later, but the problem lingered for a month and prevented him from taking the field or undertaking some of his usual daily functions.
“Whenever I'd do too much on it – even if I was walking around during the day too much – it'd be really sore next day,” Simms told MLSsoccer.com. “I'd wake up in the morning and I couldn't even really put pressure on it. Slowly but surely, it's gotten much better. By the time I get in here and do my warmups and exercises, it feels pretty good.”
Simms' sense of timing couldn't be any better as he returns to the fold after spending the past four games out of the squad.
HIGHLIGHTS: NE 0, CLB 0
Fellow central midfield fixture Shalrie Joseph picked up a right adductor strain in the scoreless draw with the Crew on Saturday night. Joseph has willingly played through minor knocks and strains throughout his career, but Simms' return may afford him the opportunity to rest up this weekend without hampering his side's chances to obtain a result.
Revolution boss Jay Heaps said he has had discussions with his captain to determine whether Joseph should try to soldier onwards through this particular twinge in order to face the Reds on Saturday (5:30 pm ET, watch LIVE online).
“I know the mindset,” Heaps said. “I've seen it. It's not just 'how are you doing, how are you feeling?' We're having longer and harder conversations than that. He's not an easy person to have a little bit of a pull or a knock because he continues to fight through it. I think now, it's more about trying to convince him – though I love the mentality, I love it – [he has] to be thinking about the entire season and the risk [versus the] reward.”
If Joseph does indeed miss out and Simms reclaims his starting spot in the center of the park against TFC, then Simms said he will relish the opportunity to put his injury frustrations behind him and work his way back into the mix.
“The plan for the last two weeks was to be back for this game,” Simms said. “I guess this is kind of good timing. Shalrie's put in a lot of minutes. Maybe this will be some good rest for him, some much needed rest for him. I'm ready to go. I have a lot of energy. I've been out for a little while, so I'm ready to go.”