HARRISON, N.J. – If Chris Albright has his way, Red Bulls fan will be see him trot out onto the field sooner rather than later.
The New York right back, who was a model of consistency last year in missing just one regular-season game after his debut in May, is hoping to follow a similar path in 2011. He's rehabbing feverishly after surgery to his left knee last week derailed his hopes to start in the season opener this Saturday at Red Bull Arena. Head coach Hans Backe thinks that Albright will be back in “most likely five to six weeks’ time.”
Albright smiled wryly when asked if he is on board with his coach’s plans for a return to the pitch.
“If that’s what coach says, then that’s what I’m going with,” the former US international told MLSsoccer.com. “But I’m hoping and going to push myself for sooner.”
The veteran injured the same left knee that sidelined him for the bulk of the 2009 season, with the surgery this time scoping out the slight tear to his meniscus. The injury was the result of the wear and tear of the MLS season on his body.
“I don’t think it was a singular issue, just something that happens over time and required surgery,” Albright said. “It wasn’t anything major.”
For now, Albright is relegated to watching his teammates train, something that is difficult for him to do as he is itching to get back out on the field to prepare for the season.
Currently working on the strengthening and mobility of his leg, Albright is cautiously optimistic that he will make his way onto the starting XI and make an impact when he's through with rehab.
“Not putting a time frame on it, but I think that in five to six weeks I will be at full speed,” Albright said. “But I hope to be on the field training sooner than that.”
Kristian R. Dyer can be followed at twitter.com/KristianRDyer