For the first time in seven weeks, FC Kansas City Alex Arlitt is healthy enough for game action.
The rookie had become a regular starter this season, until a stress reaction in her left fibula took her back to ground zero.
“I felt like I was starting to meld in,” Arlitt said. “I thought I was hitting my stride a little bit, which is one of the reasons why it was so frustrating. Now I’m kind of back where I was, trying to get back in the lineup and get my touch back.”
Arlitt could get playing time Sunday for the first time in nearly two months. FC Kansas City takes on Sky Blue FC at 5 p.m. at Swope Soccer Village, and Arlitt is finally listed as “probable” on the team’s injury report. She’s been training at 100 percent, and said she feels good enough to play again.
Arlitt had to slog through weeks with a boot on her foot and a backlog of aggravation. While the rest of her teammates could run every day uninhibited, Arlitt was stuck watching. She spent more time in the weight room, although she could only work her upper body for a time. And when she couldn’t do cardio on her feet, Arlitt turned to seated boxing, punching out her frustration with being sidelined.
“I’m a very impatient person,” she said. “Probably the hardest part was when I finally did get the green light to start running, (remembering) that I can’t do it all at once. You have to go about it very gradually, so I just tried to get up in the morning, have my coffee, tell myself I’m gonna do what I can do, and that’s okay.”
A healthy Arlitt will give FCKC a boost, although the team is dangerously close to being mathematically eliminated from playoff contention this weekend.
Still, in this down year for the franchise, FCKC has seen significant development from several of its young players — forward Shea Groom, midfielder Lo’eau LaBonta, defender Katie Bowen for examples.
Despite FCKC’s 4-8-4 record, head coach Vlatko Andonovski has praised the youth of the team for how it’s stepped up this year.
Arlitt, who could finally be making her way back to the starting lineup, is an important piece to that puzzle.
“The way she plays, she’s very aggressive and sometimes she puts herself in situations that increase the probability of getting injured, but that’s who she is,” Andonovski said. “That’s the mentality she has. She doesn’t know how to slow down or back off. I’m just glad to see her back on the field and getting back to where she was.”