Colorado left-back Chris Klute made his much anticipated return to the Rapids lineup with a solid 90 minute effort over the weekend against San Jose. While he admitted he was tired at times during the match, he also said it was great to be out on the field in action with his teammates again.
As for how Klute is is feeling going forward, he says there is no hesitation whatsoever in his game other than the fact that he has to recoup his wind to make those long runs up the left flank the way he is accustomed.
“One hundred percent, hamstring doesn’t bother me anymore,” said Klute. “Now it’s just fitness part I’ve got to get back. A couple weeks I’ll be 100% on the fitness.”
Klute said he has not really experienced a layoff like the one he endured since a hamstring injury in week one at New York. “It’s the first time I’ve had to sit out a week or two in my whole soccer career,” he lamented.
The second year Colorado defender said it was basically a miserable time, not only because he could not be out on the training field but also because he was unable to play in matches. “The first two weeks were terrible: sitting in the gym by myself. They gave me a workout plan, and Brian Mullan was in there too, so me and him were kind of running into each other.”
“I just wish I was part of the victories, but then again it is a team sport and I want our team to make MLS Cup. If we’re winning without me, just put me in for MLS Cup,” Klute said, laughing.
The recovery process over 4-5 weeks was difficult for a player just coming off two great experiences of training in England and a U.S. National Team camp in Brazil this past off-season. Klute explained the basic progression of what he was able to do and how he was eased back into action last weekend.
“The first week was a lot on the bike just keeping off the hamstring – a lot of massages the first week,” said Klute. “Second week they just kind of saw where I was at with testing. It was based on how I felt because they didn’t really know how bad it was and only I could tell them. We just went day by day and if I worked hard one day and was sore the next I would just do the bike.
“The third week was more intense. I started feeling better and running more outside. Then the fourth week I started training. There was a little hump, a little bit of pinch in there and I was like, ‘hurry up and heal already.’ Teammates were telling me to take care of it because I wanted to be out there, but a lot of people were telling me you don’t want to push it and then be out for another 2 months.”
The timing was initially a downer for Klute, looking back at when in the season it happened, but it was probably one of the better stretches for it to happen because it gave him time to rehab without losing out on what he hopes is a run to the postseason.
“That was another positive… I still have a whole season to get back in the mix and get my game top-notch for the playoffs and MLS Cup hopefully.”