KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Sporting Kansas City already knew they’d be without Aurélien Collin for the US Open Cup final because of yellow-card accumulation.
Now, they’ll have to do without their French center back for at least one league game as well, after Collin sustained two facial fractures in Wednesday night’s AT&T MLS All-Star Game.
The team said Thursday that Collin is expected to be out one to two weeks after being injured when he ran into Chelsea’s Michael Essien in the first half of the All-Stars’ 3-2 win at PPL Park in Chester, Pa. That means he will at least miss Saturday’s home match against Columbus, manager Peter Vermes said.
“He told me right now that he feels like he could play this weekend,” Vermes said after Thursday’s training session. “I won’t put him in jeopardy. I know that injury. If all goes well and they feel comfortable with a facemask and all that stuff, then great. We’ll deal with it then.”
Collin, who was expected to return to Kansas City on Thursday afternoon after undergoing further medical evaluation in the morning, was upbeat on Twitter after his injury.
WATCH: Wrapping up the AT&T MLS All-Star Game
After first revealing the facial fractures in a tweet, he followed up with: “Apart from the injury it was an amazing night thank to all the fans and the mls to made this event so magic!!”
And on Thursday morning, he added: “Thank y'all to ur messages I love SKC fans I promise I will be back soon!!!”
At the time, though, his All-Star teammates could tell something was badly wrong after the collision, which left Collin woozy on the pitch with his arm draped over Essien. He briefly returned to the match but was lifted in the 36th minute.
“I think it was just an elbow right in his cheek,” Vancouver defender Jay DeMerit told MLSsoccer.com after the match. “His cheek is all swollen and broken now. It’s not looking good.”
Vermes didn’t see the collision with Essien, because he was on a plane back to Kansas City from Philadelphia during the All-Star Game.
“I left after my meeting yesterday, just as the game was about to start about an hour and a half later,” he said. “I got home and there was a voicemail from the league telling me what had happened. I was like, ‘OK.’ I expected something to happen, to be honest with you. It’s the nature of the business.”
So when his players get All-Star nods in the future, Vermes will have no mixed emotions about those honors.
“It’s the game,” he said. “Things happen. You don’t want them to happen, but it did. I can’t spend time worrying about it. I can only spend time getting the team prepared for the next 45 minutes. Honestly, that’s where my head is right now. With Collin, when he gets back, we’ll make the decisions from there.”
Steve Brisendine covers Sporting Kansas City for MLSsoccer.com.