Hernandez looks to rebound from injury, spark Sidekicks

Recovering from injury, whether you are a professional or an amateur, can be a grueling process. The uncertainty, the waiting, and not even being able to play or practice can make for a frustrating experience. Dallas Sidekicks midfielder Nestor Hernandez, 26, who missed the beginning of the 2014-15 season due to a knee injury that required surgery, went through this exact process and is now able to return to scoring goals. Here, Hernandez talks about his recovery and what it was like to get back in on the action.

Q:What was your specific injury?
A:I had a tear in my lateral meniscus – the band on the inside of my knee. It was an injury I carried for a while, but it took a while to be diagnosed.

Q:What was the procedure to fix it?
A:I had to get arthroscopic surgery on October 7th of last year. The surgery was pretty easy for me as I was in and out in one day, but the recovery is where the real work came in.

Q:What steps did you take for recovery?
A:At first, I had to keep my knee elevated as much a possible and ice it a lot. Then, I worked daily with Steve Parker, the Sidekicks’ trainer, at Elite Therapy Solutions. It was a while before I could do anything really strenuous, so the hardest part for me was being patient and not rushing the recovery, which was especially hard once my teammates got back together and started training.

Q:How did you stay motivated throughout the recovery process?
A:I have to admit, some days it was very hard, once the season started and I couldn’t be on the field. Soccer is my life and I love it so much. I definitely did not like missing out. Getting back out there was a big motivating factor, and also my family, friends and the Sidekicks fans showed a lot of support, which kept me positive to take it easy and take my time. Also, having faith in the Lord was key because I knew I was in good hands.

Q:You started in your first game back on December 27, where you scored a goal in a 15-4 win. What was that like?
A:It was great to stand out there again and be in front of our fans, who were cheering loud that night. It takes some time to get back to where you were, but I think the hard work that I put in is paying off. The competition in the MASL this year is better than anything we’ve faced before, which shows that indoor soccer is moving in the right direction.

Q:Any games you are looking forward to?
A:I'm really looking forward to both of the Monterrey games [in Monterrey on January 11 and in Dallas on February 21] because last year they eliminated us from the playoffs. We started a good rivalry there, and I think they’re going to be tough, great games.

Q:What do you think makes the Sidekicks a winning team this year?
A:I believe the history is what makes us a winning team – the legacy of the franchise, plus the history we all now have with each other. We want to add a fifth championship to the franchise because we are the new generation. That is our motivation, along with the support of the fans. We have the heart and drive to work hard every day to play our best each game.

The Sidekicks will be busy the next few months, facing fellow Southern Division opponents to fight for key playoff positioning. Home games include Oxford City on Jan. 18, Saltillo Rancho Seco on Jan. 31, the Brownsville Barracudas on Feb. 15, and the Monterrey Flash on Feb. 21. All Sidekicks home games are played at Allen Event Center. Tickets for all Sidekicks games start at just $9 and may be ordered online at ticketmaster.com or by calling 469-200-GOAL. Keep up with the Sidekicks by following the team on Facebook or Twitter and Instagram.

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