The STATE of Soccer in WASHINGTON
When the Sounders got back together for a new season last week they brought with them hopes, desires and dreams of accomplishing a championship for the city of Seattle in 2012. For some the goals are more modest. For Steve Zakuani, the goal is to play again in a league match.
The media have been all over Zak’s return to the practice field. Articles from the club, from AP, SounderatHeart, The Seattle Times, MLSsoccer.com, The Herald, The TNT/Olympian, amongst others, all direct readers to the heart of the matter: Steve has the heart to recover, but will his body be able to?
Obviously I’m happy to be playing again, playing to some degree and just to be out there again. … I’m happy because it means I’m definitely in the home stretch, the last run. But the frustrating part is realizing just how far behind I am, not just in the group, but just myself from before I was injured,” Zakuani told Tim Booth of AP. “It was OK to go through that, but I still think in realistic terms. Since I got that taste today I’m frustrated it’s not the full thing.”
“I still have a picture in my head of how I played before, so I’ll get the ball and try to do something that used to come naturally before and I’m not able to do it,” Zakuani told SounderatHeart.com. “My abilities aren’t 100 percent. The strength in my legs is not 100 percent. Those things are natural so that’s going to be frustrating.
“In the big picture, I’m happy to be off the drugs and all that stuff. I’m happy to be playing. I’m ecstatic. But I want to get back to play, so I’m looking at it as what do I need to do now to get myself in a position to play in an actual game, which is way off from where I’m at right now and that’s the frustrating part.”
Zakuani’s progress has been slowed since he suffered from compartment sydrome after his surgery. The healing process was delayed and Steve first had to battle the setback before he could even walk again.
It goes without saying that Sounders Nation is behind Zak and his challenges for a full recovery.
While the Sounders as a whole seek to hoist an MLS Cup for the first time this year, Zakuani has a much simpler goal in mind.
He just wants to play again.