Still a long shot, but Dwayne De Rosario’s 2012 return looks like a shorter long shot today

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I’m feeling very left-sided today. Lefty-extraordinaire Ryan Giggs would surely be proud, but I am feeling a need to shift right on the domestic soccer map.

D.C. United looks like a great place to start – particularly when something like this perks up my MLS ears:

Could Dwayne De Rosario actually make a 2012 return?

Most of us wrote off De Rosario for this year, hoping for a strong return in 2011. Sure, manager Ben Olsen said a return deep into the playoffs might be possible. But at that point, most of us thought the Black and Red would not even make the playoffs without their top creator and emotional centerpiece.

But now that playoff soccer is back around D.C. United, should we re-visit the De Ro Factor? Here’s what Olsen told the Washington Post’s Steven Goff, referring back to that original prognosis of a potential return in an extended post-season run:

Very, very extended [through the playoffs]. I would say there is probably a chance. I don’t know. And I don’t know if anybody knows right now where he’s at. He is progressing quickly. I have told my trainers and doctors, you tell me the day he is ready to go because I have got a job to do and we can’t rely on that, but it would sure be nice to see him back because that means we were very, very deep into the playoffs.”

The critical point here is that “extended playoff run” in MLS is a relative thing. Excluding MLS Cup (set for Dec. 1), the full playoff schedule stretches just 19 days.

So, it sounds like “extended run” in this case might mean MLS Cup. But that’s just a guess.