Designated Player

Kouassi making steady progress, but “still a little bit away” from a return

Xavier Kouassi introduction

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Xavier Kouassi has become a familiar presence at New England Revolution training sessions in recent weeks, but the 26-year-old midfielder remains “a little bit away” from a return as he continues to recover from right knee surgery.

Kouassi, who underwent surgery in mid-February, is primarily limited to individual work with the Revolution’s athletic trainers and rehab specialists from Spaulding. He’s progressed from jogging to running, but there still remain significant steps to be made before a return.

“It was a tough injury. Kouassi’s still a little bit away,” said head coach Jay Heaps. “We’re progressing him. He’s still non-contact. He’s starting to run now and be a part of some things going on in training, but really on a limited basis.”

While Kouassi is making steady progress on the field, he’s also using this time to settle into his new surroundings. He arrived in early July and has spent the past six weeks adjusting to the Revolution’s locker room environment, getting to know his teammates, and learning his new club’s tendencies.

“It obviously hurts that he’s not able to play for us yet, but at the same time, we love having him around, getting him adjusted and seeing how we do things,” Heaps said. “He’s getting a real glimpse of what we do for film, what we do for preparation, what we do for execution and game plans. I think that’s been really good for him.”