Toronto FC defender Drew Moor was back on the field Monday, albeit working out on his own.
Life is returning to normal for the 33-year-old Texan whose soccer career was briefly put on hold due to a cardiac arrhythmia â€” or irregular heartbeat â€” that was noticed by team staff during a training session in advance of an April 15 game in Columbus.
Moor subsequently underwent a 3 1/2-hour procedure in Boston called an ablation to restore normal heart rhythm.
“It was all routine, which doesn’t mean it’s not scary at times because it was,” he said. “But it was fixed â€” to the exact way that we wanted, the doctors wanted to fix it. I feel good now.”
Doctors found a minor defect in his heart which they were able to correct.
“I’m itching to get back on the field,” Moor said.
A return to full training will come after an evaluation when he reaches the two-week mark from the procedure. That’s any day now.
So far he’s been allowed to jog and get some touches on the ball.
“We’re hoping that we can get him ready for something by the weekend,” said coach Greg Vanney.
All Toronto players wear heart monitors and GPS chips during practice and the team’s medical staff noticed some unusual data for Moor. Moor told them he had been feeling something unusual, and a visit to the team doctor and then a cardiologist followed.
Moore said he had felt the symptoms for about a month before the training session in question.
“It was nothing life-threatening or anything. It was just for somebody that leads an active lifestyle like myself and somebody who plans on leading an active lifestyle in the years to come, it was suggested I take some time and have my heart looked at a bit.”
He has got a stream of good wishes during his absence, including social media support from Ivory Coast legend Didier Drogba.
“The support’s been unbelievable, from fans, other players, from fans,” said Moor, who also praised TFC for their efforts in helping him. “Drogba and I, obviously we battled a bit the past couple of seasons and he’s a good professional and he’s a good guy … To have somebody like that reach out to me was pretty special.”
Moor has anchored the Toronto defence since joining the team prior to the 2016 season as a free agent from Colorado.
Toronto (5-1-4) moved atop both the Eastern Conference and MLS standings with its 1-0 win over defending champion Seattle on Saturday. Next up is a road game Wednesday against Columbus (5-4-1).
The victory over Seattle, Toronto’s fourth straight win, has TFC at 19 points â€” its best ever start after 10 games. The previous record was 17 points (5-3-2) in 2007.
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Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press