Ching hopeful for April/May return

Forward hopes injury won’t hinder World Cup chances

HOU_20100401_Levey_Brian_Ching

Photo Credit: 
Bob Levey/Getty Images

When forward Brian
Ching went down on Thursday night against Real Salt Lake holding his
leg, all of Robertson Stadium held its collective breath. When the
forward immediately indicated to the bench that the injury was serious,
the forward’s season and his World Cup chances seemed doubtful at best.

However,
Monday morning at practice, Ching was jogging at times and seemed to be
optimistic about his return to the Dynamo and making that return in
time to give himself a shot at the U.S. national team’s World Cup squad.

“I
feel pretty good, considering how I felt the day after the game,” Ching
told MLSsoccer.com. “I did a lot more today than I thought I was going
to do. Hopefully that's a good sign that I'm healing quicker than
normal.”

On Tuesday, the Dynamo forward had an MRI on his
hamstring, and the results were expected, but slightly worse than Ching
had hoped.

“The MRI revealed a little bit more than a mild
tear,” said the forward. “They said the tear was on the surface of the
muscle, but it was a long tear. I’m thinking three to four weeks, but
it may be longer.”

The Hawaiian is hopeful, though, based on his previous experience with hamstring injuries, to be back sooner rather than later.

“Last
year I pulled my hamstring at the wrong time,” Ching noted. “I came
back and had no issues after the initial pull. I am definitely going to
be careful. I'm not going to rush it back and injure myself even
longer. I definitely want to push it, but not too hard so I set myself
back.”

That said, Ching will have a hard time not being tempted
to push it. In 2006, the Dynamo forward was part of the U.S. team that
traveled to Germany for the World Cup. However, then coach Bruce Arena
opted to play other players as the U.S. was dumped out of the World
Cup.

“The hamstring injury has set me back and has hurt my
chances a little bit for the World Cup, which is frustrating,” said
Ching. “I spoke with one of the assistant coaches [of the U.S. team]
who inquired about how bad it was ... but if today was any indication
of me coming back, I think being back at the end of April [or the]
beginning of May is pretty realistic.”

If Ching can make it back
by that soon, he’s hopeful that his return to the Dynamo will keep him
in contention for the World Cup squad. The U.S. has friendlies
scheduled for May 25 against the Czech Republic and May 29 against
Turkey. The more important date for Ching will likely be the
preliminary roster deadline of 30 names to be submitted by May 11.

“Hopefully
I can get back on the field as quick as I can and get back up to
fitness, and that's all I can do at this point,” said Ching. “My goal is
to get back by the end of April, early May, because I feel that would
give me the best chance to get back on the World Cup team and, of
course, help the Dynamo.”