The Montreal Impact supporters couldn’t believe what the fourth official’s board was showing. Surely “14 for 17” was a mistake?
Alas, it was not. It was indeed Alessandro Nesta coming off, his shoe brushing the touchline as the clock struck 11 minutes.
Impact head coach Marco Schällibaum confirmed in his postgame press conference that Nesta had sustained an adductor injury minutes before the substitution. He also stressed, however, that the team was not expecting a worst-case scenario.
“We have other solutions and we’ll wait for a diagnosis first,” Schällibaum said after the club's 2-1 win over Toronto FC on Saturday. “Maybe it’s not that bad. Maybe he’ll even be able to play next Saturday [against the New York Red Bulls]. But we still have enough quality in the squad that we’ll make the necessary changes.”
In their disbelief, many Montreal fans wondered whether Nesta’s injury was down to the 36-year-old playing his third consecutive game on turf. Nesta, who minimized the extent of his injury after the game, was not particularly convinced this was the case.
“I don’t know,” Nesta told reporters. “I trained for one month on turf. I played two games on turf. I don’t know.”
The Italian center back was also hopeful that he could play next weekend and with good reason: his best performance last season was arguably his July 28 debut against the Red Bulls.