DAVID SMITH - Tuesday, August 7, 2012
After a tough 2011-12 plagued by recurring knee problems, longtime 1860 Munich youth player Bobby Wood is concentrated on patiently regaining his full strength in the new season.
One year ago, Wood looked headed to a regular spot with 1860's first team, however recurring issues with a knee injury originally picked up while on youth national team duties put those plans on temporary hiatus, and ultimately forced him to sit out the final months of the season.
With the Hawaii-born striker's contract expiring while he was still in the process of recovering, he was put into a tough position as a young professional. However he was given the opportunity and chose to stay with the team which he had joined seven years before.
"I was debating what I should do since I was a free agent," Wood told YA, "but I decided to come back for a year and get my knee healthy."
Wood was given a one-year contract with 1860's second team, and while he has already made a handful of appearances with the primary squad, he insists that his current aim is not about suiting up with the first team for what is widely expected to be a run at promotion to the 1. Bundesliga.
"I'm just concentrating on getting my knee healthy again," he resolutely states about his longer-term goal.
1860's reserve team began their season in the Bavarian Regional League - part of Germany's overhauled fourth tier - in late-July, with Wood having already netted four times through their first three games.
Their latest outing was a testy matchup against the reserve team of bitter city rivals FC Bayern on Sunday, a game which drew more than 6000 fans to what is normally a sparsely attended division.
The game ended in a disappointing 2-0 defeat for the "Die L÷wen" to their red rivals, and also saw Wood make an early exit after just 45 minutes of play.
Following the game, he reassured that his short shift was only due to the team's desire to avoid any risks with his recovery, particularly after a heavy schedule over the previous days.
"It was just precautionary," he clarified of the substitution. "I wasn't even supposed to play today, but it was against Bayern, so it was important."
"We'd had three games [in less than two weeks], so it was just kind of tough on my knee," he continued. "I just have to slow it down a little bit."
The team continues their busy start to the season with four games spaced over the next 13 days, beginning with a Wednesday visit to another Munich-area rival, FC Ismaning.