World Cup: Toronto FC, Nigerian national team forward Bright Dike reportedly suffers torn Achilles
Just when it seemed Toronto FC forward Bright Dike might make an improbable run to the World Cup this summer, it appears an injury will derail his bid.
Ives Galarcep reported on Goal.com Monday that the Nigerian international has torn his Achilles tendon for the second time in three years. According to the report, the injury occurred during a TFC training session Monday.
Dike (pictured, left) tore his Achilles while a member of the Portland Timbers during the 2011 preseason, but recovered and made his MLS debut in August 2011. The striker also tore his ACL during the 2013 preseason with Portland, and was sidelined until September, making his TFC debut after being traded from the Timbers that month.
Though he did not directly address the injury, Dike did tweet the following earlier on Monday:
Worst day of my life
— Bright Dike (@bbright19) February 17, 2014
The injury will almost surely halt Dike's aspirations of making the Nigerian squad for the World Cup. After receiving a call-up in November for a friendly against Italy, the forward raised his stock by scoring in a 2-2 draw. Last week, he was selected by Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi for a friendly against Mexico on March 5.
"Thinking of you, buddy," Portland Timbers owner Merritt Paulson tweeted to Dike on Monday. "Just doesn't seem fair. You are as good as there is on rehab though. killed your other achilles rehab."
On the club side of things, Toronto will likely miss Dike's contributions, as only Andrew Wiedeman has more MLS experience among the team's strikers. The physical presence Dike provides up front was perceived to be a potential counterpoint to incoming Designated Player strikers Jermain Defoe and Gilberto.
Toronto FC issued a statement on Dike's status on Monday evening but did not disclose any specifics: "Striker Bright Dike sustained a leg injury Monday morning while practicing with the team in Orlando, Florida," the statement read. "He will return to Toronto on Tuesday for further evaluation by the team's medical staff."