MONTREAL – A ball to the face can have unexpected consequences. Ask Sanna Nyassi.
His head is firmly in place, but a left knee injury will keep him off the field for at least two weeks, Montreal Impact head coach Frank Klopas said on Tuesday.
Nyassi sustained the injury on March 8, in the 66th minute of Montreal’s 3-2 loss at FC Dallas. Coming out to press Kellyn Acosta after a failed Michel free kick, Nyassi took the ball straight in the face as Acosta tried to pump it into the box. Referee Jorge Luna whistled, apparently fearing a head injury, but replays showed that Nyassi landed with his left leg bent under his body.
“With his knee, I think he’s going to be out for a while – a couple of weeks, at least,” Klopas told reporters after Impact training on Tuesday. “Looking at the play, thank god that it wasn’t worse than that, the way he landed on his knee. But he’ll definitely be out a couple of weeks.”
It is quite an ill-timed injury setback for the forward, who built on a productive preseason to open Montreal’s scoring account for this season 10 minutes into the Dallas game.
“With a guy like Sanna that you can bring in or start, he’s always a threat because of his pace and his ability in the final third,” said Klopas, who also praised Nyassi’s capacity to open up and stretch backlines. “He’s a guy that we miss, for sure, but that’s why you have a team. Other guys get opportunities, and they have to step up, which they did [Saturday against the Houston Dynamo].”
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Unable to field Nyassi in Houston, Klopas moved Collen Warner out wide. As the Impact get set to welcome the Seattle Sounders at Olympic Stadium this Saturday (4 pm ET; Univision Deportes, RDS in Canada), Klopas will likely continue to mull over his options, but Warner’s efforts against Dynamo midfielders Corey Ashe and Brad Davis left a good impression on the Montreal head coach.
“I felt we did a good job,” Klopas said. “Collen worked very hard defensively, and I think that we were able to lock them down. And then with Patrice [Bernier] coming in, I think his ability with the ball and the quality he has, it gives us a lot more possession and the ability, in the final third, to see that final pass. I felt that what we needed to do in that game, we did it.”