After a month-long stay on the injury list due to a hamstring strain, Chivas USA midfielder Nick LaBrocca finally made his return to the field in Saturday's 0-0 draw at FC Dallas. And though his 27 minutes were far from pleasant as Chivas struggled to create chances in triple-digit temperatures, LaBrocca was simply pleased to get back on the field.
"It was a good showing,” LaBrocca told MLSsoccer.com over the phone after the draw, adding it wasn't "too" hot. “It was good for my first time back. I made it, I survived and I was a part of a good result on the road.”
The road to recovery has been an arduous one for LaBrocca, who had been training sporadically since his May 23 injury before stepping up his preparation in the week leading up to the Dallas match.
Fully aware of the finicky nature of hamstring injuries, LaBrocca understands that he is not out of the woods yet.
“It’s a tricky injury that comes back and goes away," he said. "Some days you feel good, some days not so much and you never know. It’s really just a game of not really having any setbacks. I think we’ve been pretty good with that. The unfortunate thing with hamstrings is that you’re not in the clear until a few months after the injury so we’re staying cautious, but it’s definitely good to be back out there.”
As he cautiously approaches full fitness, LaBrocca expects to be available on Tuesday when Chivas USA face arguably their most important game of the season against the Charlotte Eagles at Titan Stadium at Cal State Fullerton in the quarterfinals of the US Open Cup (10:30 pm ET, streamed live at cdchivasusa.com).
Expecting to return to his position as the focal point of the Rojiblancos attack, LaBrocca and the rest of the club is up for the challenge.
“We’re definitely looking forward to it,” said LaBrocca. “It’s an important game that we’re looking forward to and we know that it’s going to be a battle.”
Adam Serrano covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.