FC Edmonton midfielder Ritchie Jones came off the bench against Atlanta Silverbacks to make his North American Soccer League (NASL) Fall Season debut, July 26 at Clarke Field. Jones was a crucial part of the Eddies offence during the Spring Season, but his presence in the squad for the Fall Season has been limited due to an ankle injury.
After growing up in Manchester United’s youth system and representing the English giants at the senior level, the 28-year-old Eddie went on to play with several other English clubs before signing with the Eddies in 2014. Jones is currently tied for second in goal scoring with the Eddies this season, posting four goals in 10 regular season appearances.
The midfielder originally injured his ankle during preseason training and then again when he found himself on the receiving end of a tough tackle against New York Cosmos. Jones battled through both injuries and played the remainder of the Spring Season.
Eddies medical staff opted to give Jones a Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) shot on his injured ankle in an attempt to get the midfielder back to full fitness. The team extracted Jones’ blood, removing the white blood cells and platelets from the blood before injecting it back into his ankle to accelerate the healing process. Jones’ bone chip was also broken up so it could get reabsorbed into the body.
“Once the anesthetic wore off it was very painful,” Jones recalled. “I was surprised because I thought I would be okay [after the shot], but I remember getting out of bed and nearly falling down because I couldn’t feel my ankle. It took a couple of days before the pain became bearable and I could start walking again.”
Jones has recovered from his ankle injury and recently resumed full training for the first time this Fall Season. The midfielder has participated in all training with the team including double sessions. He is eager to get his fitness levels back to normal and join his teammates for the remainder of the Fall Season after making an appearance in the second half of Sunday’s 3-1 loss to the Silverbacks.
“I hate missing training and its unbearable to watch the team train and not be a part of it,” Jones added. “We have a good squad and the guys have played brilliantly so I just want to keep that going and help us get some more wins. I’m here to do what the team needs me to do and accomplish whatever job my manager asks me to do.”