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Vancouver Whitecaps defender Jay DeMerit to miss at least six weeks with tendon tear in left ankle

Vancouver's Jay DeMerit warms up

Photo Credit: 
Bob Frid/Vancouver Whitecaps FC

Injuries have plagued defender Jay DeMerit since he returned to the United States prior to the 2011 MLS season, and the Vancouver Whitecaps captain is now set to miss at least six weeks after suffering a torn tendon in his left ankle during the June 7 game against the Philadelphia Union.

DeMerit, who is working as a studio analyst for ESPN FC during the 2014 World Cup, has already begun rehabilitation in Bristol, Conn., according to the Whitecaps' Website, and will return to British Columbia over the weekend.

The 34-year-old World Cup veteran appeared in just eight games for Vancouver last year due to a ruptured Achilles tendon suffered in the season opener. He has appeared in 71 of the Whitecaps' 115 regular-season games over the last three-and-a-half seasons. He played in 31 of 34 games during the 2012 campaign, helping Vancouver to their first playoff appearance.

A return after six weeks would see DeMerit miss at least four games, probably more due to the Whitecaps' crowded July schedule that includes six games. Vancouver are currently fifth in the Western Conference on points and third in points-per-game. The 'Caps rank 12th in MLS with a 1.54 goals-against average.

Honduran Johnny Leverón is expected to fill DeMerit's spot in the lineup; the Whitecaps have tied each of his three starts this season after he made 18 starts in 2013.