Chicago Fire winger Chris Mueller out long-term with hip injury

Chris Mueller - Chicago Fire

Chicago Fire FC’s attacking depth will be tested, with the club announcing Friday that winger Chris Mueller is expected to miss the remainder of the 2023 MLS season after undergoing a successful arthroscopic surgical procedure on his right hip.

Mueller is expected to make a full recovery before the 2024 season begins.

The 26-year-old joined Chicago just over a year ago after a difficult stretch at Scottish Premiership side Hibernian FC. He’s since recorded six goals and seven assists in 34 league games (31 starts) for the club, being one of the Fire’s most consistent attacking threats.

Without Mueller, Chicago are expected to lean on homegrown Brian Gutiérrez, Swiss loanee Maren Haile-Selassie (from sister side FC Lugano) and U22 Initiative signing Georgios Koutsias in wide areas. DP midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri can also play wide, though has proven productive while playing centrally.

Mueller originally entered MLS in 2018 via the SuperDraft, recording 21 goals and 24 assists across 112 regular-season games with Orlando City SC. His best year came in 2020, leading the Lions in scoring as they made their first-ever Audi MLS Cup Playoffs appearance.

Chicago could bolster their attack during the Secondary Transfer Window (runs July 5 to Aug. 2) and get roster relief depending on how they designate Mueller’s injury status.

The Fire are chasing their first postseason trip since 2017. They’re now led by head coach Frank Klopas after parting ways with Ezra Hendrickson earlier this month.