One of the league’s best young defenders will miss quite a bit of time.
The Colorado Rapidsannounced Tuesday that 6-foot-7 Swedish center back Axel Sjöberg underwent successful surgery on his left hamstring. He’ll be re-evaluated in six to eight weeks at which time the club will provide a further update.
“We are frustrated for Axel but we will give him our full support during his rehabilitation process,” Rapids sporting director Pádraig Smith said in a statement. “Everyone at the club will be working hard to make sure he is back on the pitch as soon as possible.”
Sjöberg, who started each of the Rapids’ first two regular-season games, underwent the procedure Tuesday morning in Denver after suffering the injury during Saturday's 1-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls.
Last season, Sjöberg earned Rapids’ Defender of the Year and was one of three nominees for MLS Defender of the Year, anchoring the league’s best defense while helping guide the Rapids to an unbeaten regular season at home and a trip to the Western Conference Championship.
In all, the club’s 2015 MLS SuperDraft first-round pick had started all 47 matches he appeared in for the Rapids, adding two goals and one assist.
Veteran defender Bobby Burling is a strong candidate to replace Sjöberg in the starting lineup when the Rapids welcome expansion side Minnesota United FC to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Saturday (9 pm ET, MLS LIVE).
Colorado also made a move to bolster their defensive depth earlier in the day with the acquisition of Mike da Fonte, who spent the last two seasons in the USL, playing for the Sacramento Republic in 2016 and New York Red Bulls II in 2015.
MLS FANTASY PRICE:
Axel Sjoberg – Defender – $6.5
SIMILAR TO: Matt Hedges, Walker Zimmerman, Matt Besler