Photo by ISIphotos.com
Charlie Davies has a message for all the doubters who didn't believe him when he said he would be back for the 2010 World Cup.
You just don't know.
If you've read my ESPN.com story on Davies, you know how determined he is to come back, and just how far he has already come since the accident.
While I was able to provide plenty of the details of Davies' road to recovery, there was much that I wasn't able to get into the story, including where he thought he was when he first woke up following the accident, the first soccer game he watched after the accident and the ways Davies believes he has changed since surviving last October's deadly car crash.
Here is more from my interview with Davies:
DAVIES ON FIRST WAKING UP AFTER THE ACCIDENT
“The next part I remember was just waking up in the hospital and thinking I was in Honduras, thinking that people were trying to steal my organs. That’s how I woke up. It was maybe the third day and I was really confused about where I was.
"A nurse came up to me and said, 'What are you doing Mr. Davies? Relax.'
“No. You tell me why I’m here.”
“You were in a car accident.”
“No, anybody could say that. Where am I?”
“You’re in Washington D.C.”
(Davies, who had torn out five staples from the incision in his stomach after waking up, realized that the story made sense and proceeded to pass out again.)
DAVIES ON HIS REHAB AND GOALS FOR WHEN HE COMES BACK
"When I’m running on the treadmill, it’s like this mirror basically, and I just look into it and think, 'You’re going to be the best in this World Cup. You’re going to score goals and people’s jaws are just going to drop at the progress that you’ve come back from.' “
“I don’t want to just come back and be able just to play, and I didn’t want to be back and be the same person I was. I want to come back and be better. I want to build on the last Confederations Cup, where I was really able to show Coach Bradley and the players that I’m ready and can play at this level. Now, I want to be a player that people are watching out for.”
“I’ve gone through shoulder pain, elbow, both feet, legs, toes, knees, the whole works, and just getting through each week is crazy, but I’ve been able to do it and now I feel like I’m going to start surprising people when I get back on the field."
DAVIES ON BEING BACK FOR THE WORLD CUP
"Before I knew a timetable, in my head I had always said I’m gonna make it back for the World Cup, 100 percent. I didn’t know if I’d make it back for my French season, but I was like, 'One hundred percent, I’m going to be back for the World Cup'. There’s nothing that’s keeping me out of that.
"People would ask, and I’d say ‘I’m not sure. Hopefully’, because I didn’t want to say I’d do it and if it didn’t happen it would be even worse, but I always had it in my head that I’d be back for it. It was kind of just hopeful, but now that I’m getting positive input from the doctor and (trainer Jim Hashimoto), now I know it’s realistic. I think it’ll just be not only a shocker to myself, but to everyone else, that I could come back early and it’s a reality."
JIM HASHIMOTO ON DAVIES AFTER SIX SURGERIES
"He's slightly Bionic."
(Davies has had six surgeries and has titanium rods in his left femur and tiba, multiple metal plates in his face and a metal plate in his left elbow.)
DAVIES ON BREAKING CURFEW THE NIGHT OF THE ACCIDENT
"It was just a stupid thing. I thought I wasn’t going to play on Wednesday because I had a little bit of a groin issue. We had just qualified for the World Cup so I didn’t think it would be a big issue, but when you look back now it just shows how little things like that can do damage and define things that happen to you.
“It’s all about making smart choices and being professional. That’s not going to be an issue for me again, I can tell you that.”
DAVIES ON WATCHING SOCCER AGAIN FOR THE FIRST TIME
"First game I watched was USA vs. Denmark,” Davies said. “It was probably one of the toughest things I ever had to do was to watch the national team play a game I would be in and should be in. It was definitely really painful and I haven’t been able to watch soccer as much as I used to, but I’m gradually getting there. I’m starting to watch highlights of games now and I feel like I’ve made such huge strides now that soccer is going to be in my future pretty soon."
ENCOURAGING WORDS FOR DAVIES FROM HIS SOCHAUX MANAGER
"The coach told me 'We need you back, we’re making a push for Europe, we’re only three points back from seventh place and you’re going to make the difference. We know you’re going to make the difference. I know we’re going to have you the last two months so expect to be ready because as soon as you’re ready to play you’re going to play.'
"I’m pretty excited about going back to France and starting where I left off."
DAVIES ON HIS RETURN TO THE FIELD
"The past week I’ve been visualizing my first game back (for Sochaux), and coming in off the bench, subbing in, and seeing everybody in the stadium on their feet, and then have me run in and score a goal."
DAVIES ON THE COSTA RICA QUALIFIER HE MISSED
“I haven’t had the opportunity yet, but I also feel like it’d be hard to watch. I was able to watch the video of after and a little bit of during the match. That was tough. I definitely shed some tears watching that one. It was difficult, but it was good to see.”
DAVIES ON HOW FANS REACTED TO HIS ACCIDENT
“That’s when I got the sense that people enjoyed watching me play and I was missed. It definitely gave me a positive feeling when I was in the hospital, when I definitely needed it. It means a lot to me to see that, and to see MLS team’s fans supporting me even though I never got a chance to play in MLS."
DAVIES ON THE FEELING OF SCORING GOALS
"I miss it. I think about it all the time. I can’t wait to score a goal and have that feeling again. I’m going to give all the credit to the lord for saving my life and helping me get back to full health.”
ON HOW THE ACCIDENT HAS CHANGED HIM
"I’ve definitely changed. I still feel like I’m going to be the outgoing, easy-going guy that I’ve always been, but I’ve definitely become more religious. Appreciate life much more than I did before."