New England Soccer Today

Rejuvenated Jones Primed for Playoffs

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

The recovery from sports hernia surgery is often slow and can mentally trying, the kind that can test a player’s resolve. Just ask Jermaine Jones.

Nearly three months after returning to the pitch following his second such procedure of the year, Jones admitted that he isn’t quite 100 percent. There is good news, though: he’s close.

“Yeah, it’s almost there,” Jones told the media on Tuesday. “In New York, I felt really good before Jay (Heaps) took me off for the game (on Wednesday). But yeah, I’m almost there.”

Since rejoining his teammates on the field for the Aug. 1 game vs. Toronto, Jones has played in nine games, but was missing the effectiveness that made him a dark horse candidate for MVP last year.

In recent weeks, though, Jones has slowly regained his form. In fact, in Heaps’ view, Sunday’s match showed that his star midfielder was near the top of his game.

“He was excellent,” Heaps told the media on Tuesday. “Not only was he defending and breaking up plays, he was also spearheading some of our attacks, which is when Jermaine is really feeling good about his game, and about his fitness.”

That’s a positive development for the Revolution, no doubt. With the start of the postseason upon them, the locals will need all they can get from Jones in order to make it back to the MLS Cup final.

“Where we are as a group, he’s a true no. 8,” Heaps said. “He can link up and he’s also breaking up plays all over the field.”

While Jones admits that he’s not yet back to where he was before the surgery, he isn’t worried about it going into Wednesday’s knockout match at DC.

“You don’t have to be 100 percent for a playoff game,” Jones said. “It’s a game, and sometimes you get tired, but you can run if you can take it out of your head, so I’ll try to enjoy it.”

It’s fair to say Jones won’t care how he’s feeling during – or after – Wednesday’s game so long as there’s another one at Gillette Stadium on Sunday.

“These are the games you want to play (because) whoever loses is out,” Jones said. “So you know me: I don’t like to lose, so I will do everything I can for us to stay in.

“Like I said (at) the beginning of the season: I want to go back to the cup final.”

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