Dunivant continues his recovery, sets sights on return

CARSON, Calif. -- Todd Dunivant is on the comeback trail, but it remains to be seen when the left back will return to the Galaxy starting XI.

Dunivant has been on the shelf since suffering an injury that was diagnosed as a right calf hematoma during the Galaxy’s 2-2 draw with the Vancouver Whitecaps on July 19th. In the meantime, the left back position has been manned quite successfully by rookie defender Bryan Gaul.

The 31-year-old left back returned to full training on Tuesday and while Dunivant is optimistic about his recovery, he has not set a clear timeline for a return to action. Following Wednesday’s practice session, I caught up with Dunivant and discussed his recovery process.

Dunivant’s quotes are below…

(On his condition…)

DUNIVANT: “I’m feeling a lot better. I had a good day of training for the first time and yesterday was a hard day since it was really my first day of doing anything substantial on the field. I did some fitness work and some ball work so now two days back and I’m feeling stronger and I’m hoping to be back soon.”

(On how the injury happened…)

DUNIVANT: “It was a really freak play, it was the four minute mark in the Vancouver game. I kind of caught tangled up with Dane Richards and I think he just ended up kicking me in the back of my lower leg right beneath my calf. Just immediately when I took a step down, I could feel extreme pain in the back then in the front, it felt like shin splints and felt like a bad strain in the back.  I pushed through it for another 20 minutes, but it was painful and by halftime, I could hardly walk to the locker room. It turned out to be a hematoma with all the blood and swelling filled up in the different compartments in my lower leg. It was one of those things where we just had to get rid of it. And it took about ten days to do it. All in all, compared to what I was doing a week ago when I couldn’t put weight on it running, today I was training and I’m pretty happy about that.”

(On his timeline to return to the field…)

DUNIVANT: “We’ll see. So far, we’ve been taking it day by day and even yesterday, we didn’t know that I’d be able to train as much as I did today so that’s a good sign. We’re targeting as soon as possible, but we’ll see about the weekend and so far so good in training.”

(On Bryan Gaul’s performance filling in for him…)

DUNIVANT: “He’s stepped in and done a great job. We knew that he would, he’s been training all year, but he’s still new to the position so from that standpoint, he’s done fantastic. He’s just picking it up as he goes and it’s not easy when you go up against guys like Jackson [FC Dallas] and Ryan Smith at Chivas so hats off to him because he’s done great.”

(On whether or not Gaul’s performance spurs him to return faster…)

DUNIVANT: “We got to have people step up and we’re starting to see that with our team. Earlier in the year, nobody was performing up to their capabilities and now everyone is. That’s why we’re doing well and guys are going to be out with injuries and various things so people are going to have to step up. I think you saw that in Dallas with a Landon [Donovan] out and David [Beckham] out, that’s a sign of a good team and we need that.”