I talked to a sports medicine specialist the other day about the recovery process from ACL surgeries. Typically, he told me, athletes are cleared for full training, for cutting and sprinting and such, at about six months after the surgery.
So when Omar Gonzalez made the starting 11 on Wednesday, less than six months after the injury during a training for FC Nuremberg, it really was a remarkably quick recovery for the commanding Galaxy center back.
I talked to Gonzalez yesterday for the radio show/podcast that I co-host. We talked about his commitment to the rehabilitation process, and about the Galaxy’s playoff chances going forward. (The Galaxy will make the playoffs, he assured me. “Of course we are.”)
So, how did Gonzalez get himself back on the field so quickly?
Things just happened pretty quickly for me. I did rehab five days a week and just took the weekends for myself. I was working pretty hard for those five months, and then once I got back on the [practice] field, that’s when things started progressing even faster.”
Gonzalez told me he only made it back home once, during Easter, to see his family in Dallas. I’m sure his mom would have preferred to see him more, but it sounds like that kind of dedication to the rehabilitation is why the 2011 Defender of the Year was able to get back into the swing so quickly.
How does the knee feel after Wednesday’s match, as he prepared for today’s match at Chicago?
“It feels fine,” he said. “It feels like it did before the game. It’s not so sore, so I think it’s a good sign.”
Well, I’m no doctor, but it sure sounds like a good sign to me.
By the way, if you weren’t at Wednesday’s game outside Los Angeles, you didn’t see a nice, impromptu moment from Gonzalez’s L.A. Galaxy teammates. As the team came out of the tunnel, midfielder Juninho asked his teammates to hang back a little, to let Gonzalez walk out by himself and be properly recognized. Gonzalez told me that meant a lot to him.
The Galaxy meets Chicago on ESPN today at 3 p.m. ET.