Morgan recovering, but still no clear timetable on full recovery

Alex Morgan

Photo by Tim Bouwer/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

BOCA RATON, Fla. — Alex Morgan paid a quick visit to the U.S. Women’s National Team earlier this week, but exactly when she will be able to return to the squad and resume full training is still a bit unclear.

U.S. head coach Tom Sermanni gave an update on Friday on the status of Morgan, the star forward who is in the midst of returning from a left ankle injury that has proven more than troublesome. Morgan has missed the last few U.S. camps because of a stress reaction, but she joined her international teammates for the first time in months this past week so that the U.S. staff could check on her.

Morgan, who just recently got off crutches, did not do any ball work during her brief stay in South Florida. Instead, the Portland Thorns striker did a lot of biking, swimming and upper body work.

“Good. A lot more and a lot better frame of mind,” said Sermanni on how Morgan is doing. “It’s a nasty little injury that she had, a rare injury, if you like, when you get these sort of stress fractures in areas where there’s very little blood supply. I think early in the healing process she was obviously very frustrated and she could do very little, because we really had to keep a boot on and she was very, very limited in what she could do.

“She’s kind of come over that first hump. The latest MRI, she’s made positive improvements on that. She’s back doing a lot more activity, so she’s a far better frame of mind and looking healthy and feeling healthy and feeling better.”

While Morgan is making strides, the timetable of her recovery is still somewhat fuzzy. Morgan is set to undergo another MRI in early March and that will be a big indicator of when she could return.

Sermanni is not sure when the 24-year-old Morgan could resume full training, but said that if all goes well with her upcoming MRI she could be back to partaking in some team drills in a few weeks.

“We’re hoping the next MRI is a really, really positive one,” said Sermanni. “If all goes positively, we hope she’s back by mid-March.”

The loss of Morgan these last few months has not been ideal for the Americans, who are gearing up for World Cup qualifiers later this year. Still, her absence has helped the U.S. learn quite a bit about other players on the roster and that might come in handy down the road.

“I think what we’ve found and what we continue to find is the strength of the depth of this team and you’re going to need that for a World Cup,” said forward Abby Wambach. “You have seven games, 23-player roster, and every player on the roster is going to have to play and make a difference. Not just be a filler, but to come on the field and do well for their country.”

Here’s a video from U.S. Soccer of Morgan discussing her recovery:

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What do you think of this news? When do you see Morgan returning to full training? Agree that her absence has helped the U.S. identify other players capable of stepping up?

Share your thoughts below.

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7 Responses to Morgan recovering, but still no clear timetable on full recovery

  1. Michael Brouwer says:

    Alex Morgan’s absence is a good opportunity for other players to develop, but when it comes to the big games in the World Cup, she’s irreplaceable. Her mere presence on the field both rivets the fans and intimidates the opposition. And during clutch time, there’s no-one cooler and more confident (e.g. header vs. Canada in the last seconds of overtime).

  2. Bean says:

    Bless her heart.

  3. West of the Cascades says:

    Hopeful here she’s in match-fit shape by April 12th when the Thorns open their defense of the NWSL championship!

  4. harvey says:

    There is no point in running her out against such weak opposition such as Russia. In fact, I have no idea why Tom put Wambach on the field today when the game was out of hand? Run up her scoring record? Fans wanted to see her?

    It does the US NO good to play teams like this and if we do? Why use the “A” players?

    • RB says:

      Because real games are what keep players in game shape?

      Sounds crazy, I know, but just guessing, here…

    • JoeW says:

      In theory, you’re right. In practice, you’re not. The Women’s game is still not a world game, especially if it’s not a WC or Olympics year. At any given time, when the US is training, looking for competition (other than intrasquad matches) there are simply very few other women’s national teams that can play against them. They have no funding, haven’t been training. So unlike the US men (or any men’s team), women’s teams (outside of a WC or Olympic quarter) have to take what they get. That’s part of the reason we play Canada and Mexico so much–they’re close by and therefore cheap, otherwise there’s limited value in playing Canada a couple of times a year. Additionally, friendlies like this are often quid-pro-quo….we play them on our turf, then they play us on their’s. That doesn’t mean we have to play in Russia. But there might be some time when there is a meaningful game in Scandanavia (against a Sweden or Norway) where a preliminary friendly in say….St. Petersburg…could be a useful warmup.