Seattle defender Chad Marshall had plenty of time to think while lying on the ground at Sounders FC training and then again in the back of an ambulance, his neck in a brace.
One thing he did not think was that he would fly to Houston this week, ready to play in the MLS match against the Dynamo on Sunday.
“I thought for sure when I went down that it was going to be something decent,” Marshall said Friday, meeting with media for the first time since what was diagnosed as a neck sprain.
“To be back here in two weeks, in full training, I feel very lucky, very blessed. … It was concerning for me at first, for sure. I went down and my neck hurt, so they’re holding it there. You know, you don’t move it, so I really didn’t move my neck for like six, seven hours because I’m in a brace.”
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Marshall said he took a knock while in the air, and then was hit again on his way down to an awkward landing.
“Felt a little crunch in my neck,” he said. “Immediately had some pain. Anytime you’re dealing with head and neck, you’ve got to be super cautious. So it’s probably a little overkill with the ambulance and everything.”
Seattle coach Sigi Schmid said something similar on Sept. 30 when the injury occurred late in training. Even before there was word on the severity of the injury, he stressed that the club was being cautious, and that no one should assume anything from those precautions.
Soon, generally encouraging news began trickling out. Marshall tweeted from the hospital that he was doing all right. He was sent home the next day. By the next week, he was running. And this week he returned to full training and declared himself ready to play.
“Yeah, for sure,” he said. “Obviously I was out a little bit, so you lose some fitness. I did a little extra this week to hopefully get that back. I know going to Houston, it’s going to be hot, so it might be difficult, but I think I’m ready if called.”
Because the Sounders were off last week, it’s possible that the injury will have cost Marshall only one league match: a 1-1 draw with the Los Angeles Galaxy on Oct. 4.
“That was huge,” he said. “The way that worked out, I didn’t have to miss another game. It gave us a little more time. Obviously guys got some rest, which was good going into this late part of the season. And for me, it was nice to be at home relaxing and not stressing that I’m missing games, missing training. It worked out well.”
Especially for a training injury unlike anything Marshall had ever experienced — unlike even anything he had ever seen.
“I’ve never had a teammate need an ambulance or anything like that,” he said. “So, happy to check that off the list.”
Schmid indicated that midfielder Marco Pappa and left back Oniel Fisher could miss the Houston match with hamstring injuries. … Defender/midfielder Brad Evans said he feels good after playing 90 minutes in the U.S. national team’s 1-0 loss to Costa Rica on Tuesday.
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SUNDAY: Seattle at Houston,
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