With his future looking brighter than ever, Portland Timbers forward Bright Dike has suffered another injury setback.
The team confirmed on Friday afternoon that the Nigeria international suffered a torn left ACL in Tuesday's 1-0 preseason win over the Seattle Sounders. He's scheduled to undergo surgery on Monday, performed by Timbers Director of Medicine Dr. Richard Edelson at Sports Medicine Oregon in Tigard, Ore. Dike is expected to be out until at least August.
The injury came two years and a day after he ruptured his Achilles’ tendon in a preseason game, this time after colliding with Sounders goalkeeper Josh Ford in the second half of the game in Tucson, Ariz.
The severity of the injury was first broken by a tweet from NASNPortland.com. The Timbers did confirm that the 26-year-old Dike was initially evaluated at a Tucson hospital, and returned to Portland ahead of the team.
Just heard from a source that Bright Dike tore his ACL. Leg is currently in a brace. He's hoping to be back in August.— NASN Portland (@NASNPortland) February 8, 2013
Dike's 2011 injury, also suffered in early February, kept him out until August. He played in just 11 games that year with no starts.
It was late last season when Dike, a native of Oklahoma City who is still eligible to represent both the US and Nigeria, exploded onto the scene. After being sent on loan to USL Pro side LA Blues, he returned to the Timbers to score five goals in the final 11 games of the season.
The Timbers picked up his option for 2013 expecting him to compete for a starting job under new head coach Caleb Porter.
Dike’s setback is the second significant injury suffered by a Timbers forward this season. Reserve Brent Richards is expected to miss approximately six months after also tearing his ACL in training on Jan. 26. He underwent successful surgery Monday, the team said.
Dan Itel covers the Portland Timbers for MLSsoccer.com.