Russel Huggon’s break from soccer wasn’t by choice, but his return is.
The Fraser Valley premier league forward will make his debut with the Port Moody premier Lordco Gunners tonight (7:30 p.m. Friday) against Coastal FC at Port Moody Town Centre.
The 34-year-old suffered numerous broken facial bones in a late June game after being elbowed by Vancouver’s Harry Lakhan while contesting a header for Coquitlam Metro-Ford.
Lakhan drew an eight-game suspension for the hit, which the referee’s report marked as “violent and forceful.”
Huggon, an all-star in the Vancouver Metro circuit for Coquitlam and one-time pro player in the Scottish leagues, endured surgeries that saw a titanium plate and seven screws used to help mend the breaks.
He suffered reoccurring headaches up until a month ago, but has been preparing for his return to the game he loves.
“I’m nervous, a little bit for sure,” said Huggon. “I’ve been training hard and haven’t had any headaches for a number of weeks.
“This is the longest time I’ve been out of soccer ... I expect to contribute. I have no problem putting pressure on (myself).”
He's already gone through the exercise of heading the ball, with the original trepidation now behind him.
"I'm heading the ball and that was one area where you have that concern. I'm a father of a one-year-old and this is a game, but you view things differently now," he said.
Huggon, who also coaches the Port Moody under-21 Gunners, said just getting into his usual game routine will be a relief.
"I just want to be there and ready to help our team out. It's been a while."
Port Moody, at 3-0-3, currently sits in a four-way tie for fifth place in the Valley loop.
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