Bryan Namoff was involved in a collision near the end of last season that gave him a concussion. At the time, nobody knew the extent of the injury, but I do remember in the locker room after the game he said he was suffering from blurred vision. That was not a good sign. Bryan has been out of action since September.
Naturally it has been a very frustrating time for him, and for a number of reasons he has not wanted to speak publicly about his status. Now, after several months of rest, Bryan is making progress with his symptoms. He graciously decided to speak to us at dcunited.com to share what he has been going through, and what he expects moving forward.
Bryan has managed to keep a positive attitude, in spite of the circumstances. He also singled out two things that have been bright spots in an otherwise very dark period. The first is the attitude of D.C. United’s new coaching staff. He said he feels no pressure from the staff to rush back into action. The peace of mind from the head man Curt Onalfo has made his road to recovery a little easier.
The second thing that Byran emphasized was his gratitude for the D.C. United fans. The continuous thoughts and concerns from the best fans in MLS really touched Bryan. He is committed to repaying the fans in full once he returns to the field.
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dcunited.com:Hello D.C. United fans, this is Tony Limarzi for dcunited.com, we are very pleased to have a special guest on our show today. A man who has been a key part of D.C. United for quite awhile, although lately he's been dealing with a serious health issue – it's D.C .United defender, Bryan Namoff.
dcunited.com:Bryan, thanks for much for being with us, I know the fans have all been very concerned very concerned about you. So, the number one question on everybody's mind is how are you feeling?
Namoff:Better. For everyone out there, I'm feeling better. It's just a slow progress and obviously myself wants to get back as soon as I can. As well as I hope that the staff and all the fans do. So, I'm just trying to take each day at a time. But, there's progress within each and every day. So, I'm very excited about that.
dcunited.com:Physically, what have you been doing or what have you been able to do over the past few months.
Namoff: Not a whole lot. Basically, I've been diagnosed with what is called Post-concussion Syndrome. The only real diagnosis is rest. Rest and recovery until all the symptoms start to heal itself. What are the symptoms I have experienced? I had anywhere from migraine headaches to general to uncomfortable headaches, to dizziness, to a little nausea at first. I had vertigo which is something I never want ever experience again. Ringing in my ears. Just a whole collection of these symptoms of these symptoms which wasn't very fun, but I'm glad to say that all those symptoms have now been healed. So I'm not feeling any of those. I just wanted to say that now I kinda entered this new realm, where as those symptoms went away, there's a neck issue where – during the collision that I sustained an upper cervical injury to some of the ligaments and some of the joints – a little technical nature, I'm becoming more and more experienced, and I can speak a little more intelligent on it. So, with the neck injury, there were these ligaments that were torn and there were theses muscles that were probably strained and torn. So it has just taken – what they say general time for ligaments to heal is about four or five months – so, I'm at that stage right now where they have healed. They just healed so tight, that it's just trying to work through those muscles to relieve themselves and then hopefully, then the rest of my remaining symptoms – which has just been primarily light headaches, will go away.
dcunited.com:Wow, you're an expert on this stuff, that I'm sure you wish you didn't know so much about.
Namoff:I really didn't. The amount of neurologists, the amount of physical therapists, chiropractors, acupuncturists that I've seen, could make your head spin. Which mine has, for quite some time.
dcunited.com:D.C. United and MLS have recently experienced a number of very significant players dealing with similar concussion issues. Alecko Eskandarian, Josh Gross, Domenic Mediate, and also Taylor Twellmen - probably the most noteworthy for D.C. United fans. Have you been in contact with any of those players to try to get some insights on your condition?
Namoff:Yeah, every single person that you just mentioned. At first, you feel really alone in this, with your symptoms and finally it was good to reach out. I think the first person I reached out to was Alecko. Him and I had probably the closest of symptoms – these long term headaches. We've been staying in contact. He's still suffering from what I last heard, we've been playing some phone tag with one and other to try to catch up. I actually just spoke with Josh yesterday, Josh Gross. He was calling to wish me well. So I've talked to all these players. Taylor Twellman, I've talked to in depth. What's so frustrating about these concussion symptoms and these types of neck issues – every single person has and feels something different. So everyone one of these different cases aren't very interrelated, which makes it tough. But at least you can kinda get their stories of what they went through, so you don't feel so alone in this whole ordeal.
dcunited.com:With the D.C. United coaching change during the offseason, players are all trying to be at their best to impress the new coach, Curt Onalfo. Of course for you, at this time, that has been impossible. How has your situation been addressed by the new coaching staff?
Namoff:The one positive thing I can say, is that I received a phone call immediately after the new coached was announced. Curt Onalfo called me, on the phone, and wanted to wish me well and he told me he had complete confidence. And he gave me all the support that he can in my full recovery. It is nice to have and hear that right away from the head coach. He said I'm going to be a big part, and integral part, of this team and I'm a big part of his plans for not only this season but the future and something when you're sitting there and trying to think of your long term recovery, it's some great news and gives you something to look forward to. To have that coaching staff, have the confidence in you. Especially now that Benny has jumped from player to coaching staff, it's nice that we've had that relationship for such a long time. So it's good to be able to still contact him and we've had numerous chats about where I am. The feedback has been nothing been but great. It's good to have coaches that I had before, Curt Onalfo was my assistant coach my rookie year, so we still have that report with one another. Hope to continue that and strengthen that along with Benny the new assistant - as I start to heal and eventually get back on the field.
dcunited.com:Bryan, everybody is very much looking forward to seeing you on the field again for D.C. United, but at the same time nobody to rush back or put your long-term health at risk. The fans have been very supportive of you during this period. Do you have anything you want to say to the fans at this time?
Namoff:I really do. I've heard a lot of inquiries from the fans, from our D.C. United staff. So I just wanted to give a shout out to all the fans, just to thank them for thinking about me and what I've been going through. Just wanted to give my thanks and gratitude for all you guys out there that have been thinking of me and are still supporting me even during this time.
dcunited.com:The best fans in MLS are not only there on gameday, Bryan they are with out all the time every minute.
Namoff:I appreciate it. And once I'm back on the field, I will repay that gratitude with nothing but stellar performances.
dcunited.com:Excellent. Well Bryan, keep your positive attitude. Good luck with getting back on the field and thank you very much this special time with us.
Namoff:Great. Thanks a lot Tony.