Rowe in “full force” as he returns from injury: “Felt good to be back on the field”

Kelyn Rowe primary kit 2018-19

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – It didn’t feature the flair or drama of last year’s stoppage-time winner, but for the second time in six months Kelyn Rowe made his return from injury at Stade Saputo this past weekend.

Rowe missed three games after jamming his left knee in training on April 13, but he was back in the fold as the Revs traveled to Montreal on Saturday afternoon. The 26-year-old midfielder came off the bench with the Revs trailing 4-0 in the 70th minute, and provided a spark as the visitors cut the deficit to 4-2.

Most importantly, Rowe came through the 20-minute stint unscathed, although he had hoped to make his return under more favorable circumstances.

“It wasn’t ideal going down 4-0 and then finding some minutes,” Rowe said. “It felt good to be back on the field. I didn’t feel my knee at all, which is good, but you obviously wish for a better game.”

Rowe returned from a nine-game absence in last year’s season finale at Stade Saputo, firing home a long-range winner in stoppage time to cap an emotional evening. That experience – having been sidelined for more than two months late in 2017 – helped Rowe fight through this year’s recovery, particularly after an MRI revealed no significant damage this time around.

“It was my first real big injury last year, and I missed a good amount of time,” Rowe said. “To know that it wasn’t as severe, mentally (that) was big, and to know how to get back and be successful when you get back is definitely big. But I’ve still got a lot to do.”

Now that he’s back in the mix Rowe will work toward regaining his sharpness and agility, but in terms of fitness, he’s confident that the work he’s put in with head of fitness Anton McElhone means that he hasn’t lost anything in that department.

“It’s very good,” Rowe said of his fitness levels on Saturday. “Anton and the rest of the staff – (head athletic trainer) Evan Allen, as well – have been making sure that I’m fully fit for the time that I come back in. I’m in, full force and full fitness, so I feel good.”