Any potential return is likely still months away, but there is becoming increasing reason to think that Jordan Morris could play again this year. The first real signs came last week when Morris was allowed to do some passing exercises with his teammates. Then, the Sounders put out a Tweet on Saturday in which Morris says his speed is already coming back.
Comeback season. @JmoSmooth13 recovery going well pic.twitter.com/pkZ0zylz3Q— Seattle Sounders FC (@SoundersFC) August 15, 2021
This week, though, Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer gave perhaps the most optimistic report yet on Morris’ potential return from an offseason ACL injury. Schmetzer said that as recently as a few weeks ago, he would have said it was overly optimistic to expect to see Morris this year. But now?
“He is ahead of the curve,” Schmetzer said, joking that he’s going to get in trouble with the team’s trainers if he keeps being asked about it. “When the doctors think he’s ready to get into full training, it will be a huge lift to the team and I think that time is coming a little bit sooner than originally anticipated.”
What that means, exactly, is still unknown. The typical recovery from an ACL injury takes 6-9 months and his surgery was on March 10. Six months from then would be mid-September. The Sounders have long allowed for the possibility that Morris could return in time for the playoffs that which are in November, but it’s never seemed practical to let him make his season debut in a postseason game. More likely, that target date was sort of put out there as something to keep Morris motivated. It was the same kind of language they used during Morris’ rehabilitation following his first ACL injury. He ended up returning from that injury in time for the 2018 preseason.
This, however, feels a bit different. If the Sounders are seriously thinking that Morris might be ready this year, it would make sense to give him some regular-season time, even if only off the bench. That would be quite a piece to add down the stretch.