Quick healers

BURNABY, BC – When Darren Mattocks and John Thorrington pulled up with hamstring trouble on Sept. 29 against Seattle Sounders FC, it looked like a damaging setback for Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

But just as in that match, when the Whitecaps managed to hold out for a 0-0 draw despite making two forced changes before halftime, it seems the situation for the hamstrung duo might not be quite as bad as originally thought.

Mattocks did some light sprinting during a training session at Burnaby Lake field on Tuesday, and suggested his origins are helping him bounce back so quickly that he could return to action against Portland on Oct. 21.

“I think that’s a Jamaican thing,” the 22-year-old deadpanned when a reporter suggested he’s a quick healer. “I think we heal really fast, so that’s really good. I never expected to be [doing] light sprinting this week – I saw myself jogging back and forth with a trainer a couple of times – and I felt really well, so that’s a positive sign for me.”

Still, the injury has kept Mattocks out of contention for international duty with Jamaica for this round of World Cup qualifiers, and despite being pleased with how his hamstring has responded to treatment, his main priority is recovering fully before getting back to game action.

“That’s the most important thing right now,” Mattocks said. “I don’t want to go into the Portland [Timbers] game or the next game and then sit out the rest of the season, especially when it’s playoff time – so I want to make sure it’s 100 percent and I’m ready to go.”

The situation looked ominous for Thorrington too, when he left the field against Seattle with an anguished look – perhaps suspecting his season was done after suffering a number of muscular injuries related to a nerve injury in his back.

But, like Mattocks, the 32-year-old participated in a vigorous workout with the club’s physio team, hardly looking like a player miles away from a return.

“At the time when you pull a muscle you never quite know the extent of it,” Thorrington said. “It was just a frustrating moment – I think that’s the emotion that people saw – but thankfully it is not as bad an injury as I initially thought.

“I’m back moving, hopefully I’ll be back in training soon, and be back and available for the Portland game.”

Martin MacMahon covers Vancouver Whitecaps FC for MLSsoccer.com