If he is on the plane to South Africa this summer, Charlie Davies will be the story of the tournament. It was only four months ago that Davies was in a horrific car accident that killed one passenger and savaged Davies’ body. His face was smashed, leg and arm broken, and bladder lacerated. There was a question of whether he would survive, and then, once he was out of the hospital’s intensive care unit, about whether he would ever be able to run again. That he would miss out on the World Cup seemed a foregone conclusion.
And yet, Davies is now in France to spend the next four weeks finishing his physical rehabilitation and the several weeks after that to get match fit. Davies has stated that he wants to be playing for his club team Sochaux in April and has every intention on being part of the team that goes to South Africa. If he makes it, it would be hard to imagine any scene more moving than Davies taking the field in an American shirt.
All of that is still to be seen. Gaining his endurance is one thing, but Davies’ game is about speed and finding that second gear that can power him by defenders on a break. Whether that after-burner is still there, and whether he can activate it this spring, are very much open issues. However, judging by this interview he gave upon his return to France, Charlie Davies seems determined to prove the doubters wrong.