Injuries have robbed Josh Gatt of the past several years of his career, but the American winger took an emotional step forward on Sunday afternoon.
After spending the better part of three years away due to a series of knee injuries, Gatt was named to Molde’s gameday roster for Sunday’s 4-2 win over Odds BK. While fellow American Ethan Horvath played all 90 minutes, Gatt did not enter the match, but the return to club soccer was a significant one for a player who has spent so long away.
Gatt’s woes date back to June 2013, when the now 24-year-old midfielder suffered a knee injury that kept him out of the entire 2014 Tippeligaen season. After 21 months away, Gatt made his return in May 2015, lasting just four minutes before leaving with knee pain that would eventually require the winger’s third operation. He has been sidelined ever since, making Sunday’s return an emotional one:
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This day has been coming for a long time now. After years of work and unfortunate injuries I am finally able to put my jersey back on. I am so grateful to every single person who got me to this point. @osphysio for helping me get to the place I needed to be after my third surgery. Dr. Prof. Stefan Hinterwimmer for being the one to preform my surgery and make it so that my knee is as strong as ever to play. My parents and family for always believing in me and knowing that I could complete this last obstacle and get back onto the field. My beautiful and wonderful wife @lissagatt who has stood by my side through every single step of this journey and who will be here live to see it all come to a head, I love you. My agent @takamine111 who never doubted my return even after three surgeries and still believes me to be a player who can make a difference on and off the pitch. My national team @ussoccer and @j_klinsmann for pushing me in the direction of getting the help I needed and always making sure I was ok and doing well. I couldn't be where I am without all the love, support and help I have received along the way. Lastly I wanna thank @moldefotballklubb for always standing by my side and giving me the chance to prove myself time and time again. I'm so happy and so relieved to finally say. I am back.
Prior to his injury woes, Gatt made two appearances for the U.S. Men’s National Team and was set to play in the 2013 Gold Cup prior to his first knee injury.
Gatt, Horvath and Molde return to action on Saturday for a clash with Stromsgodset.