[MLS SPOTLIGHT] There's a preseason exhibition against SMU on Wednesday, yet an appointment of far greater importance for FC Dallas and playmaker David Ferreirais also on the schedule. A specialist at the team’s new medical-care provider, Texas Health Resources, will examine Ferreira, who last April suffered a fractured ankle and torn ligaments in a game against Vancouver and missed the rest of the season. He’s been running full-speed during preseason and has participated in many drills, but has been held out of scrimmages and games at his request.
Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman is hopeful that a second opinion will concur with the first, that physical recovery has been attained and all that’s missing is the right mental approach. As of the 24th of this month, it will have been 10 months since his injuries. He tried to come back in time for the playoffs but Hyndman judged the risk far too great.
“He’ll see a foot-ankle specialist on Wednesday and we’re hoping that helps him," said Hyndman of the 2010 league MVP who played just six games before Jonathan Leathers crunched him with a tackle. “One of the problems he’s running into is the mind; he’s still worried about how strong he is, or if he’ll be reinjured, or is he at his best. These are things you don’t know how good you are or how much you’ve recovered until somebody kicks you and you go, ‘That wasn’t so bad.’ But right now he’s not prepared to get kicked.
“We hope he’ll walk out of that appointment Wednesday feeling positive about himself and ready to go. Right now he’s going through training sessions but he’s not been in full-contact yet.”
Hyndman is already loaded up with preseason objectives. Panamanian striker Blas Perez and compatriot Carlos Rodriguez are working their away into the system along with Colombian centerback Hernan Pertuz. Central midfielders Daniel Hernandez and Andrew Jacobson played through meniscus tears last year that required offseason surgery. Hyndman is plotting out how to provide cover when Perez and Rodriguez, along with U.S. international Brek Shea, depart for international duty.
“By the time the end of the season came around, their legs were shot,” says Hyndman of Hernandez and Jacobson. “They didn’t have any strength in their legs, and in essence we didn’t have the depth to take care of it. Unfortunately, in the playoffs we were at our weakest.
“The year before we played 34 games, last year we played something like 48 games with injuries and not having the depth. It really took a lot of our guys. I learned from it, but at the time I just didn’t feel like I had much choice or any avenues.
"It’s one of those hindsight things. You make the decision and it’s the wrong decision. But there weren’t a lot of choices there.”
He soon hopes to have Ferreira among his choices, along with options in case more misfortune lies ahead.
“We hope he’ll walk out of that appointment Wednesday feeling positive about himself and ready to go,” says Hyndman. “He just needs the psychological strength to feel, ‘All right, I’m a month away, I’m a week away.’ He just needs that reassurance.”
So, too, does his team and his coach.