Tuesday, December 2, 2008
After a nightmare ankle injury that kept the 23-year old out since last winter, Andrew Jacobson has finally resumed training for Lorient FC.
"It's been only about two weeks now that I have been at 100% percent. After the first operation, they said everything would be fine. I was playing with a screw in my foot during preseason, and I just couldn't run. It hurt every time I stepped."
"I decided to take it out six months early, so then it was another month of rehab. I am just now finally starting to get fit again."
Jacobson arrived in France last January for a three day trial. Impressed with the University of California Berkeley alum, the coaching staff offered the young American a professional contract after just one scrimmage and two training sessions.
Although he seemed to become an instant success at his new club, the adjustment was not always so easy.
"Technically it has been fine. My game has always been technical," the Golden Bear said. "The rhythm here is faster. My first goal was just to keep up. Now, I'm comfortable. It's normal. I just try to show what I can do. It's been a good experience, but it's been a hell of a jump."
The 6'2'' defensive central midfielder from Palo Alto was included in first team action immediately, but after just a few weeks at his new club, disaster struck.
This was not the first time Jacobson has been forced to deal with a serious injury. In college, in the spring of his freshman year, he suffered a torn ACL. Unwilling to see it end his soccer career, the All-Pac 10 player moved to Berkeley for the summer to rehab everyday.
"My experience with my knee injury in college definitely has helped me with this one," Jacobson said. "Just because after the first injury, I came back stronger. I looked at it like that, the same way, a chance to come back stronger. It has also given me a chance to learn the language and adapt to the culture."
Since his recovery, Jacobson has not been included in the 18-man traveling roster although he still exclusively trains and plays with the first team.
"We were supposed to sell one to two center midfielders over the last transfer window, but the club asked for too much money, and the players didn't go. So, we have seven center mids. The captain of the Algerian national team doesn't even play."
"The coach has told me that I am finally playing well and is looking to include me in the group, but if I am not playing first team games, then I will go."
Although he is fit to play, the only action the Lorient man has seen outside of training sessions came in a somewhat unconventional form. Selected to play in the 2008 Futsal World Cup, he saw it as an opportunity to get some more fitness.
"My coach and doctor thought it would be a good idea, so I decided to go. We didn't do so well, but it was fun."
Eager to get back on the field in France, Jacobson will wait and see what happens with Lorient, but is considering other options.
"I have got French down pretty well now and it would be nice to stay somewhere where they speak the language like maybe Belgium," Jacobson concluded. "My agent is looking around."
"A return to the US is also possible, but I am doing well here so we will see."