FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – New England midfielder Stephen McCarthy will miss the remainder of the season after undergoing surgery to rectify a lingering problem in his left shoulder.
The 23-year-old rookie is expected to return to full participation in normal soccer activities within three to four months after Revolution head team physician Dr. Scott Martin performed an arthroscopic labrum repair at the Brigham and Women’s/Mass General Health Care Center in Foxborough on Monday.
McCarthy's surgery concludes an extended battle with left shoulder complaints. He first injured his shoulder in a 2-1 defeat at San Jose on May 21 and subsequently re-injured it on three separate occasions despite wearing a series of supportive braces for most of that time period. The fourth and final recurrence occurred during a training session on Sept. 4 and prompted the surgery.
“He needed to do it,” Revolution coach Steve Nicol told MLSsoccer.com on Tuesday. “He's had problems with it, probably more during the second half of the season. It just got to a stage where the slightest touch on it was giving him pain. There's no way he can play a game, so he's better off getting it done.”
Although McCarthy will not take the field again this season, he can spend the next few months reflecting upon a successful rookie campaign. The former North Carolina midfielder started in 18 of his 21 total appearances and tallied two goals and one assist on the campaign. Nicol said McCarthy's game progressed as he adjusted to the demands of playing in MLS.
“Certainly on the ball, he got a lot more confident as the season wore on and, obviously, the more games [he played],” Nicol said. “I've always said that you're only going to get experience and get better by playing. When he did get a stretch of games, he did become more confident with the ball at his feet, so that's good.”