“It was pretty scary,” Reyna said during an video interview with about a dozen reporters Friday. “The five months were really complicated and really hard. I am happiest when I am playing. So the thought I was maybe going to be out for another extended period of time with the same injury was tough to take in.”
The 19-year-old attacker, one of the brightest stars in a brigade of young U.S. talent, was left in tears after he had to leave in the first half of Sunday’s home match against Mönchengladbach. It was his third appearance since his recovery and first start for Dortmund since Aug. 27.
Another significant injury would have canceled his plans of helping Dortmund chase front-runner Bayern Munich and joining the U.S. squad for the final three World Cup qualifiers in late March.
On Monday, though, Dortmund announced Reyna should be able to resume training in two weeks — a huge relief for all involved parties.
“I don’t really have too many worries” about being ready for U.S. camp in three weeks, Reyna said. “I am pretty positive I will be able to go to that. I really want to go. I haven’t been with them for a long time, and it’s three really important games now. I’ll really give everything and make sure I’m there.”
While Reyna continues rehabbing, the U.S. medical staff will have regular communication with its Dortmund counterparts and he will talk with the coaching staff. From the U.S. standpoint, Reyna’s ability not just to return to Dortmund’s training but play in a match would bolster Coach Gregg Berhalter’s confidence in including him on the roster.
Dortmund has two Bundesliga matches scheduled after Reyna’s expected return to active duty: March 13 against Arminia Bielefeld and March 20 at Köln.
Berhalter is expected to name the roster between those dates, and U.S. camp will begin in earnest March 21 — three days before a showdown with archrival Mexico in Mexico City. The Americans will then host Panama on March 27 in Orlando and visit Costa Rica on March 30.
Reyna’s return to the U.S. squad would help compensate for the loss of Juventus midfielder Weston McKennie, who will be sidelined at least eight weeks after he broke his foot Tuesday in an UEFA Champions League game.
Dortmund officials are optimistic about Reyna’s recovery.
“To see him after such a long time having maybe another deep and bad injury, [everyone] was feeling terrible,” executive Carsten Cramer said. “I am really happy to see him smiling and that he is more positive that it will take some more days but definitely not as long as anyone expected.”
Reyna, whose father, Claudio, captained the U.S. squad 20 years ago, is in his third season with Dortmund’s first team. He enjoyed a breakout campaign in 2020-21 with 46 appearances, 30 starts and seven goals across all competitions.
He said the long absence this season weighed on him.
“It was hard when I got into the two- or three-month range where it wasn’t really getting better and we were getting desperate and I was getting desperate,” Reyna said. “Obviously, all the players’ favorite thing is to play on Saturday or Sunday. It was hard to watch them without me helping them for several months.”
Having dodged a scare last weekend, he said he is looking forward to returning in the next few weeks, for both club and country.
“I am doing really well,” Reyna said. “I am seeing a few people that should — and will — be able to help and get me back to 100 percent very, very soon.”