Speaking to the media for the first time in weeks, Jonathan Osorio went into detail about the head injury that forced him to miss four consecutive games for Toronto FC.
Osorio revealed that he began noticing symptoms after taking an elbow to the left side of his head against the Chicago Fire on July 13th. Osorio then went into concussion protocol, which ruled him out of the Reds’ 1-0 defeat to CF Montreal on July 16th.
“At the time, when I got the hit, I didn’t feel any symptoms, I just felt the hit which hurt,” said Osorio.
“They checked me at half-time and I was fine. All I could feel was the actual impact of the hit and I thought maybe it’s just a contusion on my head.”
The Canadian international returned to the side against Charlotte FC on July 23rd and featured in each of TFC’s following MLS fixtures against the New England Revolution (July 30th and August 17th), Nashville SC (August 6th), the Portland Timbers (August 13th), and Inter Miami (August 20th).
On the accurate diagnosis, Osorio described the injury as a “neurological dysfunction.”
“I don’t know how to say this in scientific ways. The best way I can explain it is I got hit on the left side and so now the right side of my brain was compensating for my left. My left (brain) wasn’t working properly,” TFC’s No. 21 explained.
“I was able to play a few games and once the right side wasn’t able to compensate for the left anymore – and it comes back after getting fatigued – that’s when I started feeling headaches and other symptoms.
“I didn’t know how serious it was. After the Miami game, I tried to come back twice. I tried, and the symptoms came back even worse. From people I talked to, when you have a concussion and it gets worse, this is not something to play with. And so it was a little bit frustrating and a little bit scary for me. But I feel like we’re on the right track now.”
Reflecting on the injury, the midfielder explained how anxiety during the business end of TFC’s season contributed to worsening symptoms.
“The worst thing that happens with this type of thing is your mental health can be affected, and you start to get anxiety,” the 30-year-old said.
“It was just hard to really figure out what it was. I started feeling good after some rest and then I come back to the field and as soon as we ramp it up, I start feeling horrible again. You have an injury that nobody can really tell you what it is, especially about the head.”
Having been involved in full training this week, Osorio is hopeful to not only make his return to MLS action against Orlando City SC on Saturday, but to also cross the Atlantic next week for the Canadian men’s national team’s September window.
“If I’m able to get through the game (on Saturday) and feel good after with no symptoms, I don’t see why I wouldn’t go.”
In 22 MLS appearances this year, Osorio has scored nine goals (co-team high) and provided six assists (team high). Moreover, the 2022 campaign has proven to be one of Osorio’s most productive seasons to date.
Toronto FC is back in action on Saturday, September 17th against Orlando City SC for their penultimate MLS away game of the regular season.