When we last heard from Charlie Davies, the 23-year old striker for the U.S. Men's National Team, he had just survived a horrific car crash. It left the car in a tangled, twisted mess of metal, and left Davies with a broken right femur and tibia, a broken left elbow, facial fractures and a lacerated bladder. Lucky just to be alive, Davies was facing a 6-to-12 month rehabilitation process, and the near certainty that his dream of playing in the 2010 World Cup was lost. But now, four months after the accident, Davies is already jogging and performing agility drills and is "light years" ahead of where the team's trainer expected he would be at this point.
Amazingly, playing in this summer's World Cup is once again a very real possibility.
Just how amazing? The multiple broken bones in his leg, face and elbow have healed. So has a torn posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, and he has recovered from bladder surgery, which left a foot-long scar on his stomach. He has regained the 15 pounds he lost after enduring six surgeries following the crash, and is days away from undergoing his final surgery associated with the accident, a procedure to remove a bone, plate and screws from his left elbow. After a week to recover from that surgery, Davies expects to be back training with Sochaux by the end of February.
If Davies stays on this rapid recovery schedule, he could rejoin his club team FC Sochaux by April, which means Davies could very well be in South Africa with the USMNT. But just being there won't be enough.
"The World Cup is easy for me to be back for," said Davies. "I want to get back to France, and I don't want to just get back -- I want to be good.
"I don't want to be that guy just to make the [World Cup] team and just sit there. I want to be back and starting and scoring, playing well and doing the things I know I can do.
"People haven't seen the progress I've made, and maybe they don't know the kind of person I am and the motivation and new appreciation for being able to play that I have."
Not only is Davies' miraculous recovery amazing news for him and his family, but it also comes as some much needed good news for a U.S. Men's National Team that already has Oguchi Onyewu and Clint Dempsey rehabbing their own injuries.