CARSON, Calif. – While piling up minutes in an LA Galaxy uniform is nothing new for defender Todd Dunivant, overcoming offseason surgery while still proving his durability certainly is.
Dunivant has settled into his usual left back role for the start of the new season and has added his usual brand of stability and effectiveness on the left side of defense. But the early part of the season seemed in question at the start of the year.
In late 2010, the Colorado native had sports hernia surgery to correct an issue that bothered him last season.
“It affected me for about two-thirds of the season last year and I just kind of played through it,” said Dunivant, one of seven players on the roster to log every minute of the team’s three games thus far. “There were some good weeks, some bad.”
Despite his injury, Dunivant was third on the team in minutes played last year, behind goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts and defender Omar Gonzalez – both of whom, ironically, have yet to play this year due to injury. But Dunivant’s injury was not something he could ignore after the season.
“I took an MRI at the end of the year and the initial results weren’t very conclusive, so we didn’t want to do surgery if we weren’t sure,” he said. ”We gave it three weeks to kind of settle down and rest. I went out and tested it a little bit and it was worse. At that point we knew we had to do something.”
Instead of heading to Germany, where dozens of other MLS players have had a sports hernia procedure done – including Mike Magee in 2010 – Dunivant stayed locally.
“Why outsource it when you can do it here?” he said. “I’d rather do it in Santa Monica if I can.”
Just before New Year’s Day, Dunivant went in for the surgery. Ultimately, he missed just three training sessions. Getting fit for the season, though, was a bit of an uphill climb. Still, Dunivant said he hit his peak physically sometime in early March.
“I’ve had preseasons before where I’ve been in national team camp and sometimes you can burn out that way as well,” he said. “I don’t mind peaking right before the season than in late January.”