Añor glad to be back training after second ACL surgery

Añor: "I'm getting back into shape and wanting to take advantage of every time on the field"

Bernardo Anor

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OBETZ, Ohio -- When Homegrown midfielder Ben Speas needed to have his wisdom teeth removed he decided to have the procedure done last week, just a few days after scoring his first goal at D.C. United on March 23.

He could afford to miss a few training sessions because the Columbus Crew did not have game this past weekend.

Meanwhile, third-year player Bernardo Anor  also needed to have his wisdom teeth taken out but will postpone the oral surgery until after the season.

His reason is simple: He's spent enough time on the sidelines since suffering a season-ending knee injury on July 14 and any more would adversely affect his comeback, which includes playing  a combined 79 minutes in two recent reserve matches.

"Now that I'm back I don't want to make any excuses or anything to take me off the field," he told TheCrew.com on Tuesday. "I'm just getting back into shape and wanting to take advantage of every time on the field."

His return was marked by scoring against the Chicago Fire reserves on March 26 after entering in the 66th minute. Anor then went the first 55 vs. New York on Sunday.

Crew coach Robert Warzycha said he doesn't worry about Anor needing to ease back into competition by incorporating off days for him.

"You can't take him of the field," Warzycha said. "He wants to be on the field because he has worked so hard to get back to the point where he was before the injury."

Anor, a Venezuelan who played at the University of South Florida, returns to a different team than the one when he was taking down on a tackle by Sporting Kansas City's Kei Kamara and suffered the second torn ACL on his left knee in his career.

At the time Anor, a left midfielder, was in his first start at left back as Warzycha searched for someone to play there.

The Crew filled the need in the offseason by signing veterans Tyson Wahl and Agustin Viana. Also, Speas has emerged as a starting candidate on the left flank despite his limited experience.

So where does that leave Anor?

"It depends on what the team needs," said Warzycha without committing Anor to one spot.

"I'm just waiting for a chance either at left back, left wing, right wing. Any position on the field would be great," Anor said. "Once I get that opportunity I want to contribute and play 90 minutes every game."

He said he is not fully fit but from experience knows he's getting close.

"It's been 7 1/2 months," since the surgery, he said. "It's the second time it has happened to me. Usually it takes six to eight months so I'm being patient."