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A few minutes with Bryan Namoff

D.C. United defender Bryan Namoff has been sidelined since September, the latest prominent MLS player to have his career interrupted by a head injury. After enduring pain, dizziness and blurred vision, making countless visits to specialists and being forced to shut down athletically, Namoff is progressing gradually and on course to play in his 10th season. When that will occur, however, remains unclear.

Where do things stand for you?
"I am a great watcher from the sideline right now. [laughing] I am on a day-to-day basis. As I progress in my training, I have to make sure the symptoms don't get worse. I have specific target levels for my heart rate, limit my activity, take rests, try not to go for a long duration of exercise. I am doing some stationary work with the ball and vision rehabilitation, strengthening my eyes and with focusing issues I had. I've made a lot of improvement there. It's just such a slow progression from this whole episode when I was first injured, so it's nice to finally make some strides, and although small, it's satisfying to see things improve."

At this point, can you put a timetable on a return?
"It's tough. Right now, I have to make sure I can get rid of these lingering symptoms and get over that hump. Once that happens, we'll really see the recovery speed up. And then it's an issue of getting the body into game shape. That will take strength training and long sessions, but something I have been looking forward to for six months now. After you have had inactivity for this long, it's nice to be back on the field and be integrated with the team again."

How do you describe your injury?
"There was the concussion and an upper cervical trauma that I sustained when I got hit. It was like a whiplashing sensation -- that is what we're focused on now. Once we are able to eleviate alleviate some of these symptoms, which are down into the joints and ligaments in my neck, in between my vertebrae, getting that resolved will be a huge step forward."

You reached out to other players who have had head injuries?
"I talked to Alecko Eskandarian and Taylor Twellman, who have had a far worse time than I have had. My setback seems like such a long time, but those guys have really had a long-term trauma. I talked to Josh Gros too. It's just so difficult with this kind of injury because everyone is different, everyone reacts differently and everyone describes different symptoms. There is not a set case. Outside of soccer, I reached out to a baseball player, Corey Koskie, who had whiplash sensation for two years. [Koskie, a third baseman, had post-concussion syndrome following a fall chasing a pop-up during a game in 2006, never fully recovered and retired last year.] I was just researching online and I happened to find him. He had a Facebook account and my wife reached out to him. We made contact and got a chance to talk."

Did retirement ever cross your mind?
"No, because the neurologist I saw, who is the guy to go to, Dr. Robert Cantu in Boston, who has seen a lot of athletes. Everyone with this kind of injury has eventually seen him and he said, 'You are going to make a full recovery from this. You can finish your career.' He just told me to be patient and not to come back too early because that's when you can have more problems. So I am going to take it slowly and make sure I do it the right way."

By Steve Goff  |  March 24, 2010; 10:48 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Next: Thursday kickaround

Comments

Every United fan is behind you, Namoff. Get back as soon as you can - but not before. We want you back, but not at the cost of your health. Get well, then come back and help us get that fifth star!

Posted by: VercengetorixII | March 24, 2010 10:58 PM | Report abuse

we'll be patient with you.... Vamos Namoff!!

Posted by: BurchFan4 | March 24, 2010 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Get well soon, #26.

Posted by: chemweapon | March 24, 2010 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Goff,

Do you have any info on Tim Howard? He got hurt a couple of times in today's match at Man City. Jagielka was taking goal kicks for him. Thanks.

Posted by: spikeman | March 24, 2010 11:31 PM | Report abuse

What a frustrating injury to have.

It's strange, because you don't here too many head injury reports in the top leagues, outside of the famous Cech injury, and he's a goalie. MLS seems to produce an alarming number of them, and it would help if someone actually looked into it.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | March 24, 2010 11:37 PM | Report abuse

Namoff should err on the side of caution by taking too long in rehab rather than returning too early. It sounds like he still has a long way to go but also sounds like the overall long-term prognosis is pretty good.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | March 24, 2010 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Hope to see you soon Namoff.

Posted by: spikeman | March 24, 2010 11:39 PM | Report abuse

3 days until United's first match!

Posted by: Curious99 | March 24, 2010 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Good Deal Namoff1 Get bEtter.
Argy Bargy Insiders has now merged with the ABO league and we've increased our membership limit to 60 teams. Any chance we'll get over that? The dudes at mfls.com are down to offer more slots up if folks wanna hit it...
I'm thinking the password is still "united". If it isn't it's probably something more cryptic like stella or something...
Let's do this!

Posted by: DadRyan | March 25, 2010 2:06 AM | Report abuse

1) Great post, thanks!

2) eliviate = alleviate?

Posted by: edgeonyou | March 25, 2010 7:50 AM | Report abuse

I don't follow the Euro or SA leagues closely, so I don't know if the concussion rate there is different from MLS. Certainly some high profile players in MLS (Namoff, Twellman, Esky & Gros) have had their careers substantially affected by concussions. Nevertheless, I do hope MLS and the Players' Association go after this issue proactively, the idea of 20 somethings suffering lasting head trauma in sports is very sad indeed. I also believe the guys MLS calls referees should aggressively enforce dangerous play cautions. I believe Namoff got kicked in the head, whether it was a high kick or Namoff put his head down low, a caution should have been in order. Strong enforcement might cause players to take fewer risks with their brain buckets during the course of a game.

Posted by: griffin1108 | March 25, 2010 8:06 AM | Report abuse

@spikeman Do you have any info on Tim Howard? He got hurt a couple of times in today's match at Man City. Jagielka was taking goal kicks for him.

Nothing about a Tim Howard injury in Everton's match report:

http://www.evertonfc.com/match/report/0910/man-city-v-everton?page=full

Posted by: glfrazier | March 25, 2010 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Fenty was on channel 5 local news this morning and was asked about Garber's comments. Fenty said it was the first time he had heard of them, but that snide comments through the press were probably not the best way to get something done. He then said he had received no recent communications from DCU, but that when he received a legitimate proposal from DCU he would forward it to the council. He was pretty testy in his responses but, to be fair, he was pretty testy in his responses on other subjects too.

Posted by: troy6 | March 25, 2010 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Dear Mr. Fenty,

You had a legitimate proposal from DC United a few years ago. As I recall - sitting about 10 rows in front of you - you were for it . . . before you were against it . . . before you came up with Plan B . . . before the economy tanked Plan B.

It think Ben F. once said, "A bird in the hand is better than a paper plan" or something like that.

Posted by: carnack | March 25, 2010 8:22 AM | Report abuse

Fenty was on channel 5 local news this morning and was asked about Garber's comments. Fenty said it was the first time he had heard of them, but that snide comments through the press were probably not the best way to get something done.

----------

Perhaps Mayor Fenty should not attack the communication/management style of others so much, as he seems to be a standoffish sort of leader himself.

Posted by: M__N | March 25, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

You'd be better off with Mayor-for-life Marion Barry back, DC.

Posted by: Reignking | March 25, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Every United fan is behind you, Namoff. Get back as soon as you can - but not before. We want you back, but not at the cost of your health. Get well, then come back and help us get that fifth star!

Posted by: VercengetorixII | March 24, 2010 10:58 PM
============================

+1

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | March 25, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

We may have to wait to Unleash The Namoff, but it will be unleashed. Oh, yes. Yes, it will.

Posted by: JamesDougan | March 25, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

I second the unleashing! Hang in there, Namoff! :-)

Posted by: Juan-John1 | March 25, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Love you Namoff (and Nadine too). Take your time and get better before you come back. We'll be here waiting for you!!

Vamos Namoff!!

Vamos United!!

Posted by: Smitty68 | March 25, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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