Cristian Colman update – medically cleared, but don’t expect to see him soon

Cristian Colman last played for FC Dallas on September 29th of last year. He has been missing since then after the Paraguayan striker tore his ACL in training in early October and has been in rehab and recovery since.

Cristian Colman returned to FC Dallas training on April 23rd, 2019, after recovering from surgury to repair a torn ACL.(3rd Degree / Buzz Carrick)

Last month, ahead of schedule, Colman rejoined FC Dallas in training being involved in small drills and no contact sessions.

Since I last saw him train a couple of weeks ago, Colman was upgraded by FC Dallas on the MLS injury report from ‘out’ to ‘questionable’ and then removed the list altogether.

But on Wednesday of this week, Colman was again not training with FC Dallas.  I asked Coach Luchi Gonzalez when Colman would return and coach Gonzalez indicated that Colman was struggling with his lateral movement and had been removed from group training again to continue recovery and strength building in his knee.

That, in my mind, didn’t add up with Colman not being on the injury report.  So when discussing the potential lineup and the injury report for the game against Vancouver on Saturday night, I mentioned that despite Colman not being on the list he was still out with the knee injury.

In response, FC Dallas Sr. Communications Manager Carter Baum provided some clarity on twitter. “[Colman]’s not listed because he is medically cleared for action. [He] was downgraded to questionable last week and is now off it altogether.”

“He’s still got to work back to match fitness but there is no longer an injury that is keeping him out,” Baum continued.  “Same with [Francis] Atuahene who also came off a few weeks ago.”

So, Colman is medically cleared to train and play.

But he’s not training and according to his coach, Colman won’t be for a month.  He’s the complete conversation from Wednesday about Colman between myself and coach Gonzalez.

Buzz: “How close are you to getting Colman back?”

Coach Gonzalez: “Ooph, he was doing this kinda… [makes gestures to cutting] and he’s not feeling very mobile. So, we’re going to strengthen him more. [gesturing to his own knee area] He doesn’t have the strength yet that he should have. Then I think in another month, in a month, we’re going to start revving him back up again.”

Buzz: “A lot of that is mental too, you have to believe it’s going to hold together.”

Coach Gonzalez: “Yeah.”

Colman, having been in training and now being pulled out for more recovery work, I referred to as a setback in his rehab.   In my experience covering this kind of injury – and no I’m not a trainer – this kind of return to training and hesitation, if you will, is quite frequent.  Often coinciding with cutting and change of direction drills.

So yes, Colman is cleared to train.  And yes, technically, according to the team, he’s no longer injured.

But his own coach says he’ll be out for a month before they will again begin to ramp him up toward game action. So removing him from the injury report and saying he is cleared, while technically true, is perhaps disingenuous.

Whatever you want to make of his status, his own coach says Colman will be missing training for a month and it seems unlikely Colman would return to playing right away.  The above convo took place on Wednesday the 22nd of May. So we’ll keep an eye out, but expect Colman to return to training on or around June 22nd. Ish.

Meaning that sometime in the month of July Colman might see his first game action since September of 2018. Perhaps some rehab minutes with North Texas SC?  FCD has indicated they could use the USL-1 side for that kind of endeavor.

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