It was all set to be a big 2010 season for second-year forward/midfielder Mike Fucito. The star in practice and training games was primed to have a big impact for Sounders FC.
He drew praise for his talent and hard work from coach Sigi Schmid and particularly veteran Freddie Ljungberg early in the season, and his game-winning goal in stoppage time against Kansas City was supposed to be the first moment of many.
But that same game that provided Fucito’s breakthrough highlight was also the same game that kept him out the next four months as he suffered a mysterious injury to his right knee. After battling through some medical uncertainty at first, then some long days of rehab, the 24-year-old is back in full training.
He updated a pair of reporters on his status Wednesday:
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(Are you back in full?) “Yeah, starting on Saturday. It was a light training Saturday, obviously, and then reserve training Sunday. Yesterday was probably my first true test because we had that scrimmage and did a little bit of fitness at the end and then weights in the afternoon. But I got through it, so that’s good.”
(Do you know what exactly they fixed? Was there a name for it?) “Technically I guess like a seroma or something, but it’s like a very rare thing. I mean just like a freak injury unfortunately. But it’s feeling good. This is definitely the best I’ve felt in month.”
(What were the limitations and what did you have to do to get back?) “Well what they did was they put in like 100 stitches inside my kneecap, kind of quilting the two layers of tissue down to keep the fluid out. And so that just caused it to be really stiff and they were worried about it falling on it again if I would kind of re-sheer the layers, and the pocket (of fluid) would come back. Now I’m kind of without restriction.”
(How your fitness?) “It’s actually coming along. I’ve been working with Dave a lot the past few weeks and he’s pretty good about kicking our butts so when we come back we’re not too far off. Obviously game fitness is hard to get unless you’re playing games, so that will be the last to come. But all things considered I feel pretty good, I don’t feel like I’m too far out.”
(Do you feel like you’ve been forgotten about a little?) “I think it’s been a while. I think I need to prove that I can come back to where I was at and hopefully continue that momentum. I don’t feel forgotten about at all. The coaches and everyone has been very supportive and great. I think it’s going to take probably a couple of more days to get my full confidence back and to feel fully comfortable, which is natural considering I’ve been out so long. But no, I’m looking to pick up where I left off and hopefully bang some more goals away.
(How fun is it to be back?) “So fun. Oh my god, you have no idea. It was definitely a frustrating four months. I’m a lot happier these days now that I can come out and train.”