On April 22nd of 2011, Steve Zakuani's career nearly came to an end. Colorado Rapids midfielder Brian Mullan's challenge left Zakuani with a fractured tibia and fibula; his recovery would be marked by serious setbacks such as nerve damage and compartment syndrome. On July 7th of 2012, Steve Zakuani made his return to MLS in front of nearly 40,000 fans. The crowd's response says it all.
(Video after the jump.)
Zakuani looked a bit rusty and off the pace, but Sounders fans should be encouraged that his quickness and speed were still clearly evident in bursts. As has been the case throughout Zakuani's recovery, there will be setbacks, roadblocks and disappointments. But the question of "when?" has finally been put to rest. It's going to be awhile yet until Zakuani is back to his best, but just getting back onto the pitch is an enormous step. Zak's back, everybody. Enjoy it.