It had been a long and frustrating road to full strength for rookie Walker Zimmerman. But over the last few weeks he has gotten himself into a position where he can contribute for the first team.
With an injury to defender Matt Hedges, the rookie has a chance to show what he is made of this weekend against the San Jose Earthquakes.
"It is always difficult for a young player to come on the field early in the season," said FC Dallas manager Schellas Hyndman. "I don't know how to make it an easy either. However you hope that if you are going to play that you get your first opportunity at home. You also hope that going in that you have veteran players around you."
Thankfully for Zimmerman, he should have the chance to play along side a veteran in George John.
"It's great to have someone like that to mentor you, and kind of help you learn the tricks of the trade," said Zimmerman. "He's very good at organizing. It's nice too because he gives me the freedom to say 'hey if I'm not in the position, you let me know'. It is a good understanding and its not like he is going to get mad at a rookie for telling him what to do."
Zimmerman knows that San Jose will bring a tough challenge to the game on Saturday with players like Steven Lenhart and Chris Wondolowski up front.
"We've been working all week on defensive shape and working as a unit especially since we have a new back line coming in this week," said Zimmerman. "Our communication has to be on point and we have to not let him win those balls in the air."