FRISCO, Texas -- Two journeys came full circle for Ramon Nunez on Saturday night against D.C. United.
While the Dallas-native didn’t make it into the game, Nunez appeared on a match day roster for the first time in over eight months, signaling the next step on his recovery from an ACL tear. In a much longer journey, Saturday also represented the first time Nunez has pulled on the red and white FC Dallas jersey in nearly six years (July 14, 2007 vs. D.C. United).
“It was exciting,” said Nunez. “It’s been a while and it’s the right step towards the direction I want to head and a step closer to getting on the field.
“It’s good for the confidence and I’ve just got to keep working to make sure that whenever I do get minutes to make them the best minutes I’ve had.”
It’s been about six weeks since Nunez returned to full training with FCD, and while part of the reason he appeared on Saturday was due to the absence of the injured David Ferreira, Schellas Hyndman was happy to get the 27-year-old back into the game day routine.
“I don’t know if we’d have been that aggressive putting him on there [if Ferreira was available] because he’s still a couple weeks behind where we think he needs to be,” said Hyndman. “At the same time, it’s encouraging to see him dress out and very encouraging for the guys in the locker room too.
“A lot of guys were high-fiving him with big smiles on their faces. When you come off a pretty serious injury for that long, you need things to always be positive and I think that was a positive for him.”
Nunez looked sharp in training on Tuesday morning as FC Dallas prepares for their trip to Seattle. If Ferreira is unable to make the trip, “El Principito” could be in line for a season-debut off the bench, though Hyndman is still taking things very cautiously.
“I think right now it’s about continuing to build up his confidence and the other thing is the physical play,” said Hyndman. “We’re not kicking him but that doesn’t mean someone else won’t.”
With another major hurdle out of the way, there sits just one final step to full recovery from his ACL tear: making his 2013 MLS debut.
“I feel good and I feel like whenever I do get the opportunity to come onto the field I’ll be ready,” said Nunez. “I’m starting to do the same things I could do before the injury and feeling good about it, so I’m just looking forward to it.”