MONTREAL – As Davy Arnaud calmly answered reporters’ questions under the midday sun on Monday, Andrew Wenger started the short walk to the training ground parking and yelled, “Davy! When are you coming back?”
This tongue-in-cheek intervention seemed to serve two purposes. One, it showed how Arnaud’s teammates miss having him on the field since he sustained a concussion on May 1, and two, it poked fun at how the media have been asking this very question for 47 days, which is even longer that Arnaud’s recovery when he underwent sports hernia surgery in the summer of 2011.
“When you have any other thing, you have an idea of how long you’re going to be out,” Arnaud said. “You have goals that you’re hitting each week in terms of getting back. With a concussion, you don’t have that."
But on Monday, Arnaud hit a huge target indeed. The Impact captain took part in technical drills for the first time since late April. The 32-year-old sported a childish grin as he stepped off the field after this most relieving training session.
“Once you can get back to doing the things that you normally do and once you get back on the field, it makes you feel like you’re yourself again,” Arnaud explained. “But today, for me, was the biggest relief. It made me feel good to be back on the field with the guys.”
And he looked good, too. Having picked up the physical work last week, Arnaud didn’t look out of place during Marco Schällibaum’s shooting and crossing exercises. This leaves Arnaud with one last obstacle to overcome in the recovery process: He now has to replicate what caused the injury in the first place, which is heading the ball.
“I’m hoping that maybe tomorrow or Wednesday I can do that,” Arnaud said. “Maybe Thursday I’ll start getting involved again. But I don’t want to guarantee anything because I’ve had in my mind for a long time an idea of when I want to come back, and it’s been pushed back a few times. I feel good right now, and I’m sure that everything is going to be fine.”