FOXBORO -- When Saer Sene returned from an ACL tear in mid-April, he knew it would take time to get back to his old self on the field. A month-and-a-half later, he feels like a new version of the player he was last season.
Sene tore his left ACL last August. Following season-ending surgery, he used his rehab to regain his physical strength and acquire a new perspective on the sport. He watched New England Revolution games closely, studied his opponents' tendencies, and looked for new ways he could help his team in action.
"I feel stronger," Sene said. "I feel stronger defensively, I feel stronger on my knee, I have more experience than when I was playing last year, I read the game more, and I think everything is going to come step by step."
The 26-year-old forward is working his way back with a restriction of 35 to 40 minutes per game. He has yet to start. It is an adjustment from last season in which he played 1,934 minutes over 25 games, starting in 23.
"I feel good," he said. "I'm going to feel 100 percent the more I play games, the more I'm going to feel better because everything is in the game, it's not in practice. The more I'm going to play in a game, the more fit I'm going to be."
Sene's absence was apparent earlier this season. The Revolution struggled offensively without their leading scorer, recording just two goals over their first six games.
Even though Sene has yet to score his first goal this season, he is pleased to see his teammates emerging as offensive threats. Diego Fagundez has scored in three consecutive regular season games and Juan Agudelo has scored in back-to-back regular season matches.
"It's good that we have more offensive options," said Sene. "If you have a lot of good offensive players, it's good when everybody scores because teams are not only going to look at one player. They are not going to be like, 'Sene, Sene, Sene.' It's Dimitry Imbongo, it's Fagundez, it's Agudelo. There's a lot of players now to watch now and I think this is really important. If you put three or four of us in a game, I think it's going to be be trouble for the other team."
The Revolution have won their last two regular season games and earned a victory in Open Cup play on Tuesday. Sene aims to return to the starting lineup to further help his team. Until then, he is happy with the way they are improving.
"The most important thing is our team is getting better," he said. "We play better, we walk together better defensively, and I think we showed that a lot of people are surprised by the way we play now."