090821 Freddie Ljungberg Image

Ljungberg set for return

Sounders FC midfielder Freddie Ljungberg's low-blood sugar caused disorientation that kept him out of two matches.

The mystery of Freddie Ljungberg’s headaches and recent bout of disorientation and memory loss that kept him out of the Sounders last two games has been solved. The diagnosis – hypoglycemia or low blood-sugar.

And after nine days without playing a game, Ljungberg hopes to play Sunday against the Houston Dynamo.

“What happened in L.A. was that I got a memory loss. I didn’t know anyone’s name when we landed at the hotel. Because of that, they didn’t want me to play (against New England Thursday). But, I will try to play a bit in Houston,” Ljungberg said Friday after a full training session. “At the least, I have found out why I get kind of migraine symptoms.”

Ljungberg explained that his body had grown accustomed to the frequent meals prepared by team chefs in his time with Arsenal and West Ham United in England. The long-lasting carbohydrate meals that included brown rice and spaghetti with grains are ideal for people who suffer from hypoglycemia.

“We went to the airport and I just got some bagels which do not really help me. When I got there [L.A.], my body crashed. My body goes into a starving mode and then it shuts down the organs. It’s the memory that goes first. I guess it’s called a severe hypoglycemic state,” Ljungberg said.

Previously, Ljungberg suffered from two migraine headaches this season that were triggered, he said, by cheese and red wine. As he is adjusting to life on the field in the MLS, he is also adjusting to lifestyle changes in Seattle.

And while he was back in training Friday, it doesn’t guarantee that he will play against the Dynamo Sunday.

“His doctors had suggested a protocol of seven to ten days depending on how he feels. We will see how he comes back (Saturday) and I will make a determination about him traveling with us to Houston,” Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid said. “Obviously, if he travels with us we would expect him to play. I think we have to be a little bit cautious and concerned because of the heat and the humidity there because that tends to dehydrate you.”

Whether he plays Sunday or not, Ljungberg is relieved to know exactly why he has been suffering so many headaches and disorientation.

“It’s a major relief. Just imagine yourself sitting in a hotel room and, all of a sudden, you don’t know the names on your phone. Of course, I got scared. And you think about the worst thing: a tumor in your head or something,” Ljungberg said “So, it’s a big relief and to know that we can fix it.”

Ljungberg has two goals and five assists in 15 games for the Sounders. Kickoff on Sunday against the Dynamo is scheduled for 5:30 from Houston’s Robertson Stadium. The game can be seen live on KONG 6/16 with the radio broadcast on 97.3 KIRO FM.