As the final whistle rang out at the Estadio Victoria on July 23rd, the celebrations started for a Santos side that had just defeated Necaxa 3-0. Those three points represented the perfect start to the season for Los Guerreros, but their biggest victory was not on the scoreboard. Instead, it was the long-awaited return of one of their second half substitutes.
More than a year since fracturing the tibia and fibula in his right leg during a training session, Brian Lozano was back. That news represented a major triumph for the Santos star, who was made to suffer during his recovery. As the 27-year-old tells it in an exclusive interview with Fut Mex Nation, his recuperation from that serious injury was far from straightforward.
“In that moment (when the injury happened) a lot of things went through my head. That I was definitely going to need surgery without knowing if I would play football again or not. The first surgery was good initially but as days went by, as weeks went by, as months went by, I didn’t see an improvement in my recovery. That was when I started to have a lot of doubts. I felt fear,” Lozano said.
As it transpired, those worries were well-founded. More than six months after his first operation in June 2020, it was discovered that two of the screws lodged in the Uruguayan’s leg were broken. When a specialist was consulted, Lozano was told that his career was at risk. A second surgical procedure was scheduled for February.
That intervention was a success, and it put “El Huevo” on track for a miraculous comeback. The attacker admits that he is not back to his best just yet, but an already strong Santos squad will become an even scarier proposition once he is.
Given his lengthy absence, it’s easy to forget what a difference-maker Lozano was before his injury. The Montevideo man was one of the league’s leading lights during the Apertura 2019, with a series of superlative showings earning him a regular starting spot in Óscar Washington Tabárez’s Uruguay setup.
The wing wizard’s crucial contributions have been missed by both club and country, but a green group of Guerreros still got all the way to the final last term. Youngsters like Omar Campos and Carlos Acevedo were important parts of that playoff run, and Lozano has championed the qualities of both. During our interview, he had particularly kind words for the shot stopper.
“From my point of view today I know that there are very good goalkeepers in the league, you have [Rodolfo] Cota, you have Jonathan [Orozoco], you have [Alfredo] Talavera, you have [Nahuel] Guzmán, but I think that Acevedo is having an incredible moment right now. He deserves another type of recognition for what he’s done. For me he’s a very important player at this club, for me he’s a leader although he’s a young player, for what he signifies for the club, what’s he’s gone through with the club,” the attacker declared.
Lozano might not be a local lad like Acevedo, but he does have a close connection with the club that gave him another shot in Mexico after a short spell at América. He was a key cog in the side that claimed the Clausura 2018 championship, and Santos have their eyes set on further silverware this season. If “El Huevo” can help the team from Torreón to another title, it would close a difficult chapter for the player in the best way possible.