Alan Pulido is set to return to action, after being sidelined for the entire 2022 Major League Soccer season by a knee injury.
He sustained the affliction in the Spring of 2021, during a stretch with the Mexican national team. Pulido went on to record eight goals and three assists in 21 appearances while playing through the pain, before undergoing surgery on January 17 to resolve the issue.
Sporting Kansas City head coach Peter Vermes revealed the player went through an initial procedure in October 2021 to resolve the issue, but the long-term problem could not be fixed without a major operation and extended rehabilitation process.
“The recuperation has been long. It’s been a complicated year. But very happy to be so close to being back on the field. I am a very positive person, I always try to see the good in every situation. With the injury it was hard, but I tried to let it bring out the best in me,” Pulido said in an interview with 90min.
“It’s during the complicated moments that one becomes stronger, and it tests your ability to be positive and see the good. But I focused solely on recuperating, on working every single day to get back to being at my 100 percent, I’ve done triple sessions of everything to get on track. Thanks to that effort I am so close to being back to doing what I love, which is just playing football.”
And now, he’s back.
“I am excited about this season, to be back playing on the field and get that sort of reward for all the hard work I did during my rehabilitation. I am excited to score goals, obviously because of my position it’s so important,” Pulido said.
Sporting Kansas City concluded the 2022 campaign in 12th place on the Western Conference table with 40 points in 34 games and a record of 11W-16L-7D. The team clearly struggled with the absence of Pulido and Designated Player Gadi Kinda, who was also sidelined with an injury.
Pulido played an integral part of Vermes’ attack, boasting 14 goals and eight assists in 33 games since joining the club in 2020. Naturally, the Mexican forward is now adamant to return to his goal-scoring ways and get SKC back on track.
“I most want to help my team win games. Last tournament wasn’t great for Sporting Kansas City, so this year the team is hungry for revenge to win and get to the playoffs.”
Sporting Kansas City kicks off the 2023 Major League Soccer campaign on February 25 when facing the Portland Timbers at Providence Park in Portland, Oregon.