Fire fans hoping to see Steven Kinney on the field for the March 19 season opener at FC Dallas will not get their wish.
Kinney, 23, who finished last year as the Fire’s starting right back, ruptured his right Achilles tendon in the 57th minute of the season finale at Chivas USA last Oct. 23 and won’t return until May at the earliest.
Kinney underwent successful surgery to repair the injury on Oct. 27 and has spent the remainder of his offseason rehabbing.
“It’s coming along,” Kinney told MLSsoccer.com. “I’m on the right track. I’ve been going to therapy three times a week and now it’s just its kind of a take it day by day sort of thing. … I’ll be coming back up to Chicago at the end of this week and I’ll be seeing the team doctor and we’ll see what the next stage is.”
Kinney, who will travel with the Fire during the preseason, is hoping that the injury won’t hamper him once he returns to action.
“The people I’ve talked to say that you can come back and it doesn’t affect you too much,” he said. “This injury usually happens to guys in their 30s, and it happening to me at 23 hopefully will make me recover a lot faster and to a higher percent than other people.”
While he said not being able to get out and play with his teammates will be tough, Kinney understands that he needs to put in hard work during rehab to get back to full strength.
“You want to be out there every second you can, but you've got to realize that this is a serious injury so you've got to take it seriously," he said. "While they’re putting their work in out on the field, I've got to put my work in in the training room. In the long run, that’s what’s going to help me out.”
Sam Stejskal covers the Chicago Fire for MLSsoccer.com. Email him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @samstejskal.