FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Saer Sene has a refreshingly positive outlook for a player who recently had his breakout season cut short by an injury which is expected to sideline him for 6-8 months.
“This is soccer,” Sene said with a shrug of the shoulders after completing a rehab session at Gillette Stadium on Tuesday morning. “You play soccer and sometimes you get injured, sometimes not, but I was unlucky. I got injured and I have to accept that and try to come back stronger.”
Sene finished the 2012 campaign as the Revolution’s runaway leading scorer with 11 goals despite missing the final eight games after suffering a torn left ACL on Aug. 29. The French striker underwent surgery approximately three weeks later and initial estimates predicted a return date somewhere between mid-March and mid-May.
But Sene has his sights set on beating the odds and returning ahead of the projected timetable. The Revs are likely to open the 2013 regular-season schedule in early March and Sene has established a goal to be fit and ready by opening day.
“How I talked with the doctors, we want to get me back for the first game,” said Sene. “When I come back from the holidays I will run outside, start maybe passing with the team. I have time. I have all January, all February to get back in March.”
The 26-year-old is progressing well in his rehab, having recently started running in the pool to build strength while limiting impact on the knee. Sene hopes to begin working outdoors with strength and conditioning coach Nick Downing later this month and aims to start running by early December.
Although he’s pushing for the quickest possible return, Sene understands his rehab is a process and has already accepted he won’t be able to join the Revs during their first preseason trip, likely set for late January. But Sene still holds out hope he’ll be able to suit up for the season opener, and he’s prepared to do whatever’s necessary to make that happen.
“I’ll work hard every day because the doctors said they want to get me back for the first game,” said Sene. “Mentally, I’m ready. In my head, I know that I want to be back for the first game. I want to work hard and I will be working hard to get ready.”