It's been nearly ten months since Adrian Cann's name hasn't been included in Toronto FC's injury report. Since he hurt his knee on May 31st while training with the club on a turf field Cann's name has appeared under the "out" player list. For tomorrow's game though that has all changed. The last time that Cann was in the squad was that infamous 6-2 defeat against the Philadelphia Union on the 28th of May and the last time he played was on the 22nd in a 0-0 draw with the Colorado Rapids.
For Cann the road back to being listed as questionable has been a long one and a very tough one. Over the course of his injury I got the chance to chat with him a number of times and you could tell that the defender was having a hard time being away from the game. He was clearly motivated to get back with the team and get back to playing which has paid off in him being extremely motivated in his rehab. Despite having a hard time being away from the game he remained a very positive person to speak with and had a lot of good things to say about the direction the team started to head in during the second half of the season. Through it all though it was clear that he just wanted to be on the field helping the team out.
For Cann the injury came at a very bad time as he was just getting back in the swing of things with Toronto FC having missed much of the club's preseason training. His absence from camp was due to his failed contract negotiations with the club. He was looking for an increased offer from the club but they instead removed all offers from the table leaving Cann with basically no option other than to retire or have the club cancel the remaining years on his existing deal for him to go elsewhere. In the end he did return to the team just over a week later with very few details being released about how the situation was resolved.
His injury came just as he was starting to improve his form and put that whole messy situation behind him. For the player it was a huge blow as it cost him most of the season and meant he would miss the entire round of qualifying with the national team. It was worse for the club though as his absence certainly played a role in their record setting goals allowed total during the 2011 MLS campaign.
For an injury like his, a complete ACL tear, 10 months is just about the minimum recovery time for an athlete. If somehow Cann is able to feature he would be back in under 10 months which would be good news for both Toronto FC and the Canadian national team. Neither team is overly strong at CB so having Cann fit and available will help to address those concerns.
Having Cann back will help to fill the void left behind by the complete bust that was Geovanny Caicedo and will allow the club the luxury of easing Aaron Maund into the team a bit more. The good news is that with Miguel Aceval and Ty Harden at least getting the job done there will not be a huge rush to have Cann come in and make an immediate impact.