RESTLESS EDU EAGER TO RETURN
For the first time in his professional career, Maurice Edu has had to sit out an extended period of time due to injury which has made the Rangers midfielder even hungrier to return to action.
Edu has been sidelined since undergoing surgery last May to repair torn ligaments he sustained in his knee during last year's season finale versus Dundee United.
Originally, the native of Fontana, California expected to miss three months of action, however looking back on it, Edu concedes that his timetable for that speedy of a return was unrealistic.
"I think I was a little naive in thinking I would be back in September," Edu recently said to YA. "It has been frusrating but in the last week I have been moving in a positive direction and taking it day by day."
The former University of Maryland standout went on to explain that what is most important is to be able to help Rangers in the long-term and not rush back to action to then only reaggravate the injury and end up in the training room again.
"I'm looking at the big picture," he continued. "When I return, I don't want to have to think about my injury. I don't want to put any pressure on myself and reinjure my knee... the longest I've ever been injured before is one month. It's been agony to miss all of the Champions League and national team games."
Edu is not the only Light Blue to be missing for Rangers head coach Walter Smith this season. Several other players were unavailable for their last league match due to various injuries.
This may be a result of the fact that the Glasgow club is still alive in four different competitions: the Scottish Premier League, UEFA Champions League, Scottish Cup and Scottish League Cup.
The extended schedule looks to have worn on the players but Edu is quick to point out that the top clubs in Europe should expect to be taxed and that alot of positives can be extracted from the situation.
"Injuries are always going to happen to the top clubs," he added. "You play alot of games. We're not the only ones playing alot of games. Plus, we've got young guys like Danny Wilson who have gotten an opportunity to play and it's been a positive thing for him. It gives us a chance to showcase our depth."
Another player who has recently seen time for Rangers due to the myriad of injuries is fellow American DaMarcus Beasley. Since experiencing an injury of his own last season, Beasley had difficulty finding his way back onto the field.
It was not until the November 7th match versus St. Mirren that Beasley saw action in league play which his compatriot was glad to finally see.
"I'm definitely happy for Beas. He kept his head and worked hard. He'd done well in training and his appearance was definitely warranted," Edu noted.
Seeing his close friend return to the field was one of the highlights of the fall for the ex-Toronto man. However the last several months have also been difficult ones for Edu as two separate incidents have left a mark on the midfielder.
Following a Champions League match at Ibrox Stadium in October, Edu said that he was racially abused by several Rangers fans. The news was reported in outlets all over the world sparking an outcry to find the guilty parties.
An investigation into the incident is still ongoing and exact details of what was said are still unknown to the public. When asked of the incident, Edu revealed that he is not able to divulge anything until the matter is resolved.
"I'm not able to make any comments on that [the racial incident]... I know the investigation is going on and hopefully will be done soon."
In addition to that unfortunate night at Ibrox, just one week prior the former Terrapin learned that his fellow national teamer and close friend Charlie Davies was involved in an auto accident that killed a female passenger.
The news came as a shock to the Golden State resident who was desperate to find out if Davies was OK. Upon learning that the Sochaux striker survived the accident, a relieved Edu was able to eventually reach out and speak with Davies.
"When I heard about the accident, I kind of went into a shell and just wanted to know that he was alright and wish him well. I had a chance to talk to him a couple weeks ago and he was still the same Charlie... Still smiling and cracking jokes," Edu grinned.
Doctors have all but ruled out a return Davies returning to action in time for the World Cup, but do not expect Edu to share that sentiment.
"I think a World Cup return is possible [for Charlie]. His spirits are high. If anyone can do it, it's Charlie," he concluded.