Lorenzo Insigne's Toronto FC debut delayed due to calf injury

Lorenzo Insigne’s debut for Toronto FC will have to wait.

Head coach and sporting director Bob Bradley revealed Wednesday that Toronto’s new star is now looking at a July 23 debut vs. Charlotte FC at BMO Field after sustaining a slight calf injury.

They originally targeted another home match, this coming Saturday, when Toronto will host the San Jose Earthquakes (7:30 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+).

With the delayed timeline, Insigne is due to miss three league games total: vs. San Jose (July 9), at Chicago Fire FC (July 13) and at CF Montréal (July 16).

The news is a definite setback for the Reds, who have been anxiously anticipating Insigne’s debut after signing him to a Designated Player pre-contract in early January. The Italy national team forward was a longtime captain for Napoli in Serie A, before inking a four-year deal through June 2026.

The centerpiece of Toronto’s new era, Insigne is poised to be one of MLS’s biggest stars during a summer transfer wave that’s already welcomed Wales star Gareth Bale to LAFC, Mexico star Hector Herrera to Houston Dynamo FC and more.

The Euro 2020 winner arrived in Canada in late June to train and acclimate to his new club. He was officially unveiled June 27, stating “the project is certainly a challenge and I would like to be part of winning the championship.”

Before Insigne arrived, Toronto have stumbled to a 12th-place spot in the Eastern Conference standings (5W-10L-3D record). They’re seven points off the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs pace.