KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Sporting Kansas City won’t rush out to acquire another striker, despite the season-ending knee injury to Teal Bunbury which has weakened an already-thin front line.
“I’m always looking for opportunities,” Vermes told MLSsoccer.com after Tuesday’s training session. “But does this accelerate it? No. I’m not going to go make a move out of panic. There is no panic.”
Bunbury will undergo surgery on Friday to repair the torn ACL he sustained in Sunday night’s 1-1 draw against the New York Red Bulls. He was hurt in the fourth minute, when he collided with Red Bulls center back Markus Holgersson while assisting on Kei Kamara’s 10th goal of the season, but remained in the game for another 10 minutes before coming off for C.J. Sapong.
The 22-year-old ends 2012 with five goals in 22 league appearances (14 starts), and also had one goal in Sporting’s run to their first US Open Cup title since 2004. Beyond that, he made big strides this season in his defensive work and in using his size and speed to stretch opposing defenses.
“It’s a tough break,” Vermes said. “He put a lot of time and energy into getting into the form that he was in. But that’s part of the business that we’re in. You work so hard to get to a certain point, and then something happens to where you’re out for a good period of time. He’s had a huge impact on the team that we’ve grown into, and I have a lot of confidence in our medical staff that he’s going to come back better and stronger than he was before.”
On the upside of the injury report, Vermes said Tuesday that left wingers Bobby Convey and Jacob Peterson are poised to return to training.
Convey has missed three straight league matches and the US Open Cup final with hamstring soreness, while Peterson has been out for four MLS games and the final with a sprained right shoulder.
“Jacob will enter training this week for a full practice, which is great,” Vermes said. “Convey is getting close to that as well. It’s just about getting those guys back in for the final stretch of the season.”
Steve Brisendine covers Sporting Kansas City for MLSsoccer.com.