Arne Friedrich may be able to return to the starting lineup for the June 17 game against the New York Red Bulls at Toyota Park. The Chicago Fire defender suffered a hamstring injury that prevented him from participating in the last match. The two week rest period may have been enough for his injury to heal.
Friedrich was injured during the May 12 game against Sporting Kansas City. The Chicago Fire later confirmed that he had a Grade II hamstring strain. This type of injury involves a partial tear of the muscle that includes swelling and pain. A Grade II strain can make walking and bending the knee difficult. Arne Friedrich was forced to miss the last Chicago Fire match because of the hamstring injury.
The recovery time for a hamstring injury can vary, but a Grade II strain usually requires two to three weeks to heal. Since it is only a partial tear of the muscle, the recovery time is not expected to last a month. Although physical activity is limited during the first stages of recovery, a slow return to strengthening exercises can usually help an athlete heal faster. The Chicago Fire have had a two week break, so Arne Friedrich may be back for the June 17 game.
Why He Matters
The Chicago Fire's brief experiment with rookie defenders in the back line showed that Arne Friedrich is a necessary part of the team. His experience and leadership are vital parts to a defensive line that is one of the team's main weaknesses. The return of Friedrich may help the Fire get past a recent losing streak.
Multiple Hamstring Injuries
The 2012 MLS season has included several hamstring injuries for the Chicago Fire. In addition to Arne Friedrich, Dominic Oduro and Patrick Nyarko have had recent hamstring problems. Although this type of injury is common in soccer, it still raises the question of improper training and warm-ups before a game. Strength training has been shown as one effective method of preventing hamstring strains. The Chicago Fire may want to examine their use of weight training.
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Lana follows MLS, UEFA and FIFA. She has been a faithful fan of the Chicago Fire since 1998. Lana has a B.S. degree in Biology and Chemistry. She is an avid athlete and youth coach. Follow @Lana_Bandoim on Twitter.