A Friday morning training session during an off week usually doesn’t generate much buzz but this Friday was different. Ryan Hollingshead participated in the workout with his FC Dallas teammates for the first time since he fractured three vertebrae on January 9th while helping a stranded driver during icy road conditions in Irving, TX.
“Felt so good!” Hollingshead beamed. “The last 10-11 weeks all my training has been on my own. Being out with the group, being out with the guys is huge, such a boost for my morale.”
“For us it’s just good to see him back out there doing what he loves to do,” defender Matt Hedges told me. “He just wanted to get back out there and be a player like the rest of us.”
Doctors have cleared Hollingshead for full contact. Meaning, yes, he can even go up for headers, which is remarkable when you consider he spent most of January in a neck brace. He admits, though, that he hesitated a bit when hitting the ball.
“My neck is completely okay,” he said. “I’m so afraid to just power through. It’s still retraining my brain to make those thoughts and to move my head the way it can move. I’m just so used to keeping it tensed up. I just need to get it loosened up.”
The 25-year old midfielder was loose enough to impress his teammates, though.
“He looked pretty sharp for being out for such a long time,” Hedges admitted. “I think he’ll be ready to contribute pretty soon.”
The club has not put a timeline on Hollingshead’s return to game action. The focus for Hollingshead now, is getting back in MLS form.
“I can play but I might be on the sideline throwing up because I’m so out of shape,” he said.
You have to appreciate his honesty.