TFC’s Drew Moor back on field, sees light at end of injury tunnel


Toronto FC's Drew Moor runs across the field after scoring a goal. (Jae C. Hong/AP)

TORONTO — Drew Moor back on the field with Toronto FC was a welcome sight Tuesday, proof that the veteran defender is making progress from the quad tear that has sidelined him since the CONCACAF Champions League final in April.

"It’s good to have him out there and involved in various part of the training sessions," said coach Greg Vanney. "Just his presence, his voice … It’s a positive thing.

"He still has a little bit of (recovery) time left. When you have a quad injury as serious as he did, there’s a big difference between being able to run and do things and being able to really strike the ball. So he’s still got a little work to do. But really just in terms of having the vast majority of our guys on the field now, it’s a good feeling."

Striker Jozy Altidore and defender Chris Mavinga are the two main remaining injury absentees for Toronto (4-7-3).

Altidore underwent foot surgery in early May and Vanney, who was awaiting an injury update on the U.S. international, said the hope is he can resume some training this week. As for Mavinga, he is back in France rehabbing a recurring hamstring injury with doctors he has worked with previously. Vanney says he is probably two weeks away.

With MLS taking a break during the early stages of the World Cup, TFC players were given four days off after last Wednesday’s wild 4-4 comeback tie with visiting D.C. United. They return to action Sunday at New York City FC (8-3-4).

It’s been eight weeks since Moor was injured in training in Mexico prior to the April 25 second leg of the CONCACAF Champions League final against Chivas Guadalajara. The original prognosis was a two- to three-month absence and Moor says that is still the target.

"Obviously it feels good to get back in boots and on some grass and out of the weight room, which isn’t my favourite place in the world," he said. "It’s healing nicely and I’m excited to get back on the field."

Moor had played 10 of Toronto FC’s first 12 matches in a crammed opening to the schedule before the injury occurred. He was rested for the other two games, which preceded Champions League contests.

Moor says the injury was likely the result of a combination of factors, including a short off-season, lots of travel, changes in altitude and playing on different surfaces.

"At the end of the day, you can point to 5,000 different things. But for me, it was just that pass for some reason, that particular play, just my quad didn’t engage like it usually does. Yeah it was a freak thing for me. It happens over the course of your career."

Moor has been running on the injured leg for a while but says changing direction and kicking the ball remain a "slow progression."

The injury occurred when Moor, running with the ball at practice, tried to deliver a routine pass across his body.

"It’s something that I’ve done a thousand times … And I knew right away. It felt like a very very hard cramp or like a stab right to the meat of the quad. I just walked off the field and was in disbelief — not so much because I knew I was injured but because I knew how bare our backline was at that point."

Toronto had to drop captain Michael Bradley back into defence with the likes of Mavinga, Nick Hagglund, Eriq Zavaleta and Justin Morrow hurting.

Moor, a 14-year veteran who has played 364 regular-season MLS games, says he didn’t feel the injury much away from the field after the first few days.

"Fortunately at home I don’t have to do a lot of sprinting," the father of two said wryly.

Moor tore his right anterior cruciate ligament in August 2014 while playing for the Colorado Rapids. He was out for 7 1/2 months but about half of that was during the off-season.


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