FOXBORO (CBS) -- Remember that cold night in Minnesota when Matt Turner nearly froze for the US Men's National Team? It was that evening that started an offseason of foot injuries that have kept the Revolution goalkeeper away from the pitch.
That was the night that Turner initially hurt his foot, because tissue in his foot actually froze. If that wasn't unfortunate enough, he later suffered a hairline fracture in his kicking foot that has sidelined him for the start of the 2022 MLS season. Turner went into great length explaining the injuries to WBZ-TV's Dan Roche on Friday.
"After the game in Minnesota against Honduras, I developed a bit of tendinitis in my foot. It was because the tissue in my foot was frozen and I was running back and forth to stay warm," he said of that frigid evening. "All the running on frozen tissue sort of expedited the process of tendinitis."
A few days later after thawing out a bit, he rejoined the Revs for training camp in a much more pleasant Los Angeles. He trained for only one day but decided to play in the club's friendly against LAFC, eager to rejoin his teammates and build a relationship with the new players on the squad. But that is when he suffered another foot injury in an equally unfortunate way.
"A few minutes into the game a back-pass was left short. I came to clear it and someone left their foot in. I cleared the ball and kicked the bottom of their foot and got the hairline fracture in a small bone in my foot," he explained.
Initially, Turner was told that it would only be a two-week injury, so he attacked it pretty aggressively, hoping to be back for New England's opener in Portland. As we now know, that was not the case. Once he saw a specialist, he was told to get off the foot, and a stint in a boot and on crutches followed.
"It's been a tricky injury to rehab," Turner said. "It was kind of a kick in the gut because my goal was to be back for every game this season. But you have to take the rehab one day at a time from there and I've done a good job, and credit to the medical staff here."
Turner said that he has started to feel a lot better and he turned a big corner this past week. He is hoping to have a great doctor's visit next Tuesday that will bring some good news.
"I'm hopefully going to get the all clear [on Tuesday]," said Turner, though he still doesn't have a timeframe for his return to game action. "It's up to the doctor and then we'll go from there. I have to see what he has to say. I want to get back out there as soon as I can but I also need to be smart. I need to get my legs back under me and even myself out because I was on crutches for a little while and in a walking boot.
"Once I get out there and the all clear, I don't think it will take me too long to get fit and help this team get back to the top of the standings," he added.
The Revs have gone 1-2-1 to start the 2022 season, with Earl Edwards Jr. making nine saves while allowing eight goals in those four matches. Turner is on borrowed time in New England as it is, since he'll be heading overseas to join Arsenal in June, so he's eager to hit the pitch for the Revs.
"Mentally, I'm in a really good spot with a lot of good things happening," he said, happy that his efforts with the national team helped the U.S. qualify for the World Cup. "I had a lot of time away from soccer to organize and get things together before I head to England. I'm really eager to get back on the field. I'm itching for it, but I have to take the right precautions."
He's also eager to show that he can be even better for New England than he was in 2021.
"There are a lot of areas I feel that I can improve in," said the reigning MLS Goalkeeper of the Year. "Even the ones I'm considered really good at, I still feel like I can be better, more consistent. I'm starting to enter in the prime of my career now and that will bring a few learning curves along the way. But at the end of it all I want to be a top US goalkeeper. If I want to maintain that level I always have to learn, always adapt and be self-aware of my flaws and grow and get better."
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