FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The sight of Saër Sène gliding around the training field offered a significant boost to the New England Revolution on Wednesday morning.
Sène has participated in drills in recent weeks as he continues his recovery from surgery to repair a left ACL tear in September, but this session – including a protracted spell in a full-field scrimmage – marked an important signpost in his bid to return to action.
“It was good for him,” Revolution coach Jay Heaps told MLSsoccer.com. “He's kind of like a QB. I wish I had him in a red practice jersey. You can't hit Saër. He hasn't gone on any full challenges yet. We're still progressing with him.”
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The evident signs of Sène's injury – a compression sleeve on his left leg and a slight hitch in his step from time to time – underscore the significant work still ahead. His presence in practice represents a step along the way to recovery rather than a sign he is ready to return to action immediately.
The French striker will work on his fitness and his sharpness over the next few weeks as he bids to put his injury nightmare behind him and stake his claim for a place in the squad.
“I think it's nice that we're getting him reps with us and getting him fit,” Heaps said. “We're really being cautious. It's exciting to have him out here. You can see some of the things he does well. I think the players are getting excited to have him out here, but, at the same time, we have to be smart in how we progress with it.”
Heaps said he plans to chart a prudent course for Sène's and rely on the lessons of another recent ACL victim to guide his striker's path back to the first team over the short- and medium-term.
“He could have a setback today, tomorrow, the next day,” Heaps said. “You guys have all followed the Derrick Rose situation. We want the player to be comfortable. We want to make sure that we're not pushing. We want the player to do the pushing.”