HOUSTON – D.C. United midfielder Perry Kitchen is holding his breath about the severity of a right knee injury that forced him out of the team’s 1-0 loss to the Houston Dynamo on Saturday.
Kitchen collided with Dynamo striker Will Bruin in the 26th minute and went down in a heap, but eventually rode out another three minutes on the field before the pain became too much to take. He was helped off the field in the 29th minute and did not return.
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“I didn’t think too much of it and I tried to get up and keep playing, but it was sharp pain. I had to come off,” Kitchen said. “I’m definitely nervous about it. I’ve never had knee problems or anything to that extent, so I don’t really know what’s what or how I should be feeling.”
Kitchen was replaced in the match by midfielder Stephen King. He’s expected to be evaluated upon the team’s return to Washington.
“It’s obviously a concern … it doesn’t look great,” head coach Ben Olsen said. “I don’t think it’s going to be a 5-7 day injury, so hopefully it will be something minor that we can take of in the shortest amount of time possible.”
Kitchen has appeared in nine games in the DC midfield and on the backline in his second season in the league, after appearing in 31 games as a rookie last year.
Striker Chris Pontius was also subbed out of the game due to a nagging hip injury that Olsen said has been a problem recently. Pontius came out in the 57th minute for Designated Player Hamdi Salihi.
“The past couple weeks it’s been bothering me,” Pontius said. “Obviously it was the worst it’s been today. We’ll see when we get back to D.C., because it’s tough to tell right now if I’ll miss some time.”
Pontius has five goals and one assist in 11 appearances for D.C. this year.