Features | 4/14/2009 4:09:15 PM | Bandits.com
A grueling rehab this summer may have been among the most difficult things Pat McCready has faced in his career.
It didn't compare, however, to the difficulty he had leaving his teammates.
The decision to return to the Bandits for his 14th NLL season following recovery from a torn shoulder is attributed to them.
"For a while I was leaning towards maybe hanging it up," McCready said. "It was a pretty bad injury and I hadn't really been injured before... But they didn't let me fade away."
"[We said] everything under the sun to get him to come back,"said Mark Steenhuis. "It was a whole bunch of messages and calls. In the end we said 'you better come back soon or it's going to be too late.'
"We thought it was going to be no problem [to convince him to return], then it got more serious. So we switched our tactics. We went for a more team-oriented route. We would say 'come on, we need you."
It turned out to be the right approach
It was the family atmosphere of the entire Bandits organization that ended up being the decision maker for the veteran.
"It's probably the best place to play in the league," said McCready. "I've played with two other teams, this is by far the best place for a player to play. People envy a spot with the Bandits. As a lacrosse player it's where you want to end up."
And he hasn't let the fans down. Through eight games this season, he has registered 16 points (4+12). He was honored as the Transition Player of the Week after a five-point (2+3) performance in a Bandit 15-14 overtime loss to the Rochester Knighthawks on March 14.
Still, it's the team and not the individual effort McCready focuses on.
"The personal stuff doesn’t mean anything to me unless the team is succeeding. If you're not winning, that's all that counts. If you score five or six goals and the team doesn't win it's not cutting it. We have to find a way to win together."