If Kelvin Leerdam didn’t quite seem himself last year, there’s a good explanation: He was playing with an ankle injury that involved a displaced bone and likely caused other issues as well. Leerdam told the Seattle Times that he suffered the injury in a preseason training session, causing him to miss the season opener, and never fully recovered. At one point, the trainers were having to “hammer” the bones into place before games.
“Last season was tough,’’ he told the Times. “At this (training camp) phase I was still injured, so I was always chasing the team. It was also the first time in 12 years that I’d been injured in pre-season, so it was new for me. It was hard, really hard.”
The ankle injury also contributed to a hamstring injury later in the year. All together, Leerdam ended up missing seven matches due to injury — he also missed one due to suspension — and was only able to go as many as 80 minutes in 15 of his 28 appearances.
Despite the struggles, Leerdam still managed to notch five assists, including four in his final eight matches. The Sounders were 13-5-1 in matches Leerdam was able to play at least 70 minutes and 5-6-4 in all their other matches.
After spending the entire offseason in the Netherlands working with specialists, Leerdam now thinks he has fully recovered.
“I needed the time off but I didn’t have that much time,’’ Leerdam said to the Times. “I needed to feel better and then I needed to get stronger. I feel like I did both, so hopefully things will go differently this season.’’