Brad Davis is one Houston Dynamo player that will find it tough to look back on the end of 2011 fondly. The MLS MVP runner-up had his standout season cut short just a game before the Dynamo played in the third MLS Cup final in franchise history. The one silver lining, although Davis hesitated to call it that, is that his injury – a right quad strain – happened at the end of the year eliminating temptation to rush his recovery.
“It’s a double-edged sword and actually I don’t think the injury could’ve happened at a worse time,” Davis told MLSsoccer.com by phone on Tuesday. “At the time it happened, I thought it was the worst possible time. If [the injury] doesn’t happen at the end of the year, maybe I’m able to come back and play in the last few games. You work so hard during the year and to be out and have to watch that last game was the most miserable feeling. Now you look at it like, ‘It’s the past and I can’t change it,’ and now I can take my time to get healthy.”
Getting healthy involves rebuilding the strength in his right leg to a point where he is ready to go full speed when preseason starts Jan. 23. Davis said last Tuesday he was ready to embark on a rehabilitation schedule that involves weightlifting and bike riding with the goal being to get back to running soon. If all goes well, that will lead to a return to soccer-related activity in January.
“The biggest thing right now is time,” Davis said. “I think I might be a bit ahead of schedule, which is good. I’m doing my rehab to keep flexibility and now I’m starting some weights. We have plenty of time here so I don’t have to push myself and I can make sure I come back 100 percent healthy.”
With Davis ready to start his rehab, he was clear that despite the sting of missing the final — a 1-0 loss to the LA Galaxy — he is extremely proud of his team’s performance in 2011.
“We made it to the final when there were a lot of people who didn’t think we were even going to be in the playoffs,” Davis said. “For me, that’s a positive going into next year and I think the guys should be proud of the way the season ended. Obviously, we wanted to win the Cup, but it was a very good season overall.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.