O’Brian White has been looking forward to this week ever since April 27, when the Sounders FC placed him on the Disabled List when it was learned that he would need surgery to remove a blood clot from his leg.
His removal from the Disabled List on Tuesday was a bit ceremonial, but was a good signal, nonetheless, that White is rapidly approaching a return to competitive action for the Sounders FC.
White shared the team lead with two goals and two assists before his injury. In the recovery process, he was taking blood thinners and was unable to exercise for several weeks. Getting off the blood thinners proved to be a tremendous turning point.
“Once they were able to come to a determination that his recovery could continue without him having to be on blood thinners, that made the prospects of him returning much greater,” Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid said. “Once that decision was made, which was pretty early on, that got our hopes up.”
Limited to just jogging around the field and doing occasional change-of-direction drills early on, White quickly progressed to the point that in the last few weeks he was training twice a day to rebuild his fitness. Now, he is training in full with his teammates without any limitations and could see game time as soon as Saturday when the Sounders host the Colorado Rapids.
If he cannot play on Saturday, he may make his return next week against Manchester United, giving him the opportunity to play in a much less pressure-packed match in his first match back with the club.
“I’m looking forward to it. I’ve been putting in a lot of work, training hard, so I could be ready to go back out there,” he said. “I feel fit and confident. I feel it’s the right time now.”
White came to the Sounders in a trade with the Vancouver Whitecaps FC, who selected him from Toronto FC in the 2010 MLS Expansion Draft. He played two seasons with Toronto FC after an award-winning career with the University of Connecticut, scoring four goals and adding four assists in 33 games for the Reds in 2009 and 2010.