SAN JOSE, Calif. – Joe Cannon’s return to the San Jose Earthquakes’ starting lineup lasted only one match.
Cannon, who came back after six games on the bench to shut out Kansas City 1-0 on Saturday, suffered a broken left ankle in training Tuesday. He’s slated for surgery Wednesday, with the team’s initial estimate being at least six to eight weeks on the shelf – practically season-ending with only nine-and-a-half weeks left in the regular season.
“He’s just doing routine goalkeeping, comes out to block a shot, gets his ankle caught underneath him and snaps the ankle,” said coach Frank Yallop, who knew immediately that it was a serious injury. “Joe’s a tough guy, but he was in a lot of pain.”
The injury means Jon Busch, benched after allowing an own goal in a 1-0 loss at Colorado, will move back into the starting lineup. Yallop said the Quakes will bring in an MLS pool goalkeeper as a backup for their match against Los Angeles on Saturday, then decide if they want to place Cannon on injured reserve and sign their own interim backup.
“You build a squad to hopefully deal with any problems you have,” Yallop said. “Joe played well against Kansas City, and Jon’s going to be playing now. We’ve very blessed in that position.”
Busch, picked up by San Jose in the first week of the season after being released by Chicago, replaced Cannon coming out of the World Cup break and had a goals-against average of 1.00 in six matches. But he has had problems of late with long shots and crosses, leading Yallop to switch back last week.
For the Quakes, it’s another in a long litany of injuries that have struck this season, wiping out key players left and right. Defenders Ike Opara (broken left foot) and Ramiro Corrales (sprained left knee) are both out for weeks. Midfielder Andre Luiz (left knee surgery) is done for the year. Forward Eduardo, a key offseason transfer, has played just 31 minutes due to a variety of ailments.
“To have so many really good players all out together is unusual, but again, we ground out a result against Kansas City and we’ve got to do the same against LA,” Yallop said. “The guys have done well and stuck together. It’s a disappointment for Joe, but we have to move forward. We’ve got to keep going.”
Geoff Lepper covers the Earthquakes for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at email@example.com. On Twitter: @sjquakes