CARSON, Calif. – It wasn't the summer Robbie Rogers was hoping for when he returned to the game back in May, but depending on how his nagging hamstring cooperates, he's hopeful his autumn plays out a whole lot better.
Rogers returned to full training with the LA Galaxy late last week after a stomach infection and further injury to his ailing left hamstring slowed his recovery, and he's aiming to be ready when the Galaxy face Montreal after the international break.
“This summer's been a bitch for me, to be honest,” Rogers told reporters on Tuesday. “But I feel good now, so knock on wood that I don't have any more injuries, because that could possibly be my season if it is.”
Rogers has spent the season trying to regain his form following a brief retirement that kept him off the field for five months. He's had good games and mediocre ones, but his progress was derailed in mid-July when he tore his right hamstring in training.
He returned from that injury during the International Champions Cup friendlies at the start of August, failed to make the 18-man game rosters for the next two MLS matches, then got the call for LA's CONCACAF Champions League opener Aug. 20 against Cartaginés. He tore his left hamstring in that game, and nearly everything has gone wrong since.
“I had an intestinal infection, like bacteria or something,” Rogers said. “I didn't get on antibiotics quick enough, so it kind of destroyed my colon, and my intestines kind of inflamed, I had, like, mucus ... it was disgusting. It was pretty miserable.”
That knocked him off his feet for two weeks, and then when he returned to training the second week of September, he re-injured the hamstring.
“I tried to come back too early,” he said.
Now it's healed, and he says he feels sharp with the ball but needs to build up his game fitness. The Galaxy hope he can see minutes in Monday's Reserve League game against Chivas USA.
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“It is encouraging to see Robbie back. He's looked good,” associate head coach Dave Sarachan told reporters. “Because he's been out now, it's where the fitness level and the sharpness [are], but the good thing is we've got a nice little window coming up between [Sunday's] Chivas game and Montreal [who visit StubHub Center on Oct. 16] where a guy like Robbie can really ramp it up.
"We're still hopeful that there'll be some contributions left from Robbie as we head into the end of the season and, hopefully, postseason.”
Rogers hopes so, too. He hasn't met expectations with the Galaxy, and he's well aware of that.
“I have high expectations on myself,” he said. “Any expectations that anyone has on me, trust me, mine are higher. ... I was close to going to the last World Cup, so my expectations are very high. I put a lot of pressure on myself, and, obviously, injuries are a downer, but I'm 26. I'll bounce back from this.”