Omar Gonzalez is back and in record time. OK, there are no actual records to confirm that Gonzalez has made a record recovery from a torn ACL, but it is a really, really, really fast recovery. He is in the starting lineup for the LA Galaxy on Wednesday night against the Philadelphia Union, one day before the six-month mark since tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.
The Galaxy defense has really struggled without Gonzalez. They have allowed 27 goals in just 20 matches this season, a year after they allowed just 28 in all 34 matches en route to both the Supporters' Shield and the MLS Cup title. The other three starters from last year's defense are all back, but clearly the unit is nowhere near as good without Gonzalez.
Recovery from a torn ACL typically takes between nine months and one year. Gonzalez has been ahead of schedule in his recovery since day one, but returning this quickly is a surprise to anyone. He tore his ACL over the winter in his first training session with Nuremberg after going on trial with the German club.
The one concern for Gonzalez will be match fitness. He played 45 minutes with the Galaxy's reserve team against their U-18's, but that is the extent of his in-match recovery work to date, so the odds are that he will not be at full fitness for Wednesday's match.