Christen Press trains with Angel City FC for first time since 2022

Christen Press trains with Angel City FC for first time since 2022

Christen Press returned to training Tuesday morning with Angel City FC, a big step in her recovery after she has been sidelined since tearing her ACL two years ago.

The rehabilitation process has been long and included four surgeries.

Press’ last action for Angel City came in the game she suffered the injury, a 3-2 win over Racing Louisville on June 11, 2022. She scored in the 36th minute and was subbed off in the 66th after going down with a knee injury.

She has trained individually through the early months of the 2024 season, sharing updates on her progress through social media of herself shooting, running and dribbling.

“I would say that the thing about recovery is it kind of goes really slow and then comes all at once,” she said after Tuesday’s session. “Today was a milestone and I was happy to celebrate that with my team.

“It was also a really small milestone because I didn’t actually do anything new today. I had been doing all the things that you saw me do today for weeks. I felt really prepared for the moment and it was the next step on. It’s still going to be a decent steepness to this journey and it’s been a long road.”

Press is still on the season-ending injury list.

Throughout the first months of the season, Angel City coach Becki Tweed said that it was “hard to put a timeline” on Press’ return, but saw Tuesday as a positive.

“It is another step in her rehab and her return to play,” Tweed said. “I think it is still step-by-step for her. Getting her back in with the team is really important. Mentally, for the team, for her, for everybody. Obviously physically too. She is checking boxes and moving along. It is exciting. Again, just the next step in her rehab process. Big for everybody and a good day to get back out.”

At the season-opening Fan Fest, Press said that she dreamed “of the moment I get to run out on that pitch for all of you (fans).”

“Every single time that I was told I have to have surgery from the first to a reconstruction and then the three scopes that I had, I always thought I would be on the quickest timeline possible,” she said Tuesday. “I always had some big milestone in my head that I was sure I was going to make. That’s part of who I am.”

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“I’m just relentlessly optimistic, naively positive and just thinking that everything is going to work out for me. I never want that to change and I got off course of all of those timelines so many times that I finally had to actually relinquish that expectation of myself. So to be back in my team training, which is again like a small milestone, but one that like you’re all here for, feels like a full circle kind of moment. It feels a little poetic to hit it on the day precisely.”

Angel City FC returns to action Saturday on the road against the Houston Dash.