FC Dallas fans last saw midfielder Dax McCarty on the field in a draw against Chicago on May 27, where he suffered a left hip pointer in the second half and had to be helped off the pitch at Toyota Park.
McCarty went on to miss FCD’s last game before the World Cup break, a 2-0 win over San Jose on June 5 at Pizza Hut Park. However, over the last few weeks, the midfielder has returned to practice and now he looks to return to game action on Saturday as FCD travels to the Home Depot Center to face Chivas USA.
“I feel 100 times better than I did a couple of weeks ago,” said McCarty. “The break was absolutely crucial because, with the injury I had, the only thing that was going to get it better was some time off and a lot of rest.”
The fifth-year midfielder admits he wanted to play against the Earthquakes, but knows he might not have helped FCD very much, so he stayed on the sidelines.
“I was really eager to try to play in the San Jose game, but I think that would have been asking a little too much,” he said. “I think I would have probably hurt the team more than I helped them if I had played. I’m just glad that we got a great result in that game.”
McCarty admits he’s not quite at 100 percent, however, he feels close to full fitness.
“I feel probably about 90 percent right now, so I’m going to try to get through this week of training, get my fitness back and go from there,” he said after practice on Monday.
FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman still wants to see more of McCarty in game action to convince him he is now fully healthy.
“He says he’s doing fine. It’s a little bit of a tight hamstring, I think,” evaluated Hyndman after a demanding team fitness test. “He really did well with that. I think he’s pretty good. I don’t know if he can strike a ball the way we want it struck, but he’s working very hard.”
McCarty doesn’t feel his tight hamstring is anything worth worrying about.
“I think it’s just normal tightness in terms of hamstrings, quads, groins; it’s all just rebooting the system, so to speak, because I had a couple of weeks off,” he said. “I’m going in the cold tub and making sure I take care of myself off the field. It’s nothing to worry about. I don’t have any reservations about going all out in training. Hopefully that will carry over to the game.”
And, like his teammates, McCarty said he was looking forward to seeing his first game action in almost three weeks in the Tuesday scrimmage, where the starters were slated to play the first half.
“It will be perfect. It feels like it’s been a good amount of time since I played my last game,” said the veteran midfielder. “It’s going to be good to get some game time before the Chivas game because I don’t want to go into that game feeling like I’m a little hesitant to go into tackles and stuff. I know the guys are looking forward to getting back out there.”