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Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez talks about his quick recovery

Jul 8, 2012, 1:12 PM EDT

2011 MLS Cup - Portraits Getty Images

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.

Hear the rest of the interview with the big Galaxy center back here.

The Galaxy meets Chicago on ESPN today at 3 p.m. ET.

  1. sportsviking - Jul 8, 2012 at 1:53 PM

    Great to see such a promising young player come back from injury. As you mentioned his commitment to getting back sounds extremely impressive. As a Sounders fan I know this just makes the West that much tougher, but as a USMNT team fan, I’m thrilled he’s back playing. Do you think he could see a call-up next camp Steve?

    • Steve Davis - Jul 8, 2012 at 5:19 PM

      I think it depends on his performance in the coming weeks, but I honestly don’t see what would prevent it. If he gets back to 2011 form (and no reason to believe Gonzalez won’t) he’s surely better at this point than Oguchi Onyewu.

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