The Portland Timbers may be without captain Diego Chara for most of their remaining Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs push after it was announced Thursday he's sidelined for 1-3 weeks following a successful appendectomy surgery.
The news comes with Portland sitting 11th in the Western Conference table, one point back of the ninth-and-final postseason place with six games to go. That climb continues with Sunday's Matchday 32 closer at Austin FC (8:30 pm ET | MLS Season Pass, FS1), as the club looks to build off a three-game unbeaten streak under interim coach Miles Joseph.
Chara, 37, remains a nearly irreplaceable player in what is now his 13th Timbers season. He has 12 goals and 33 assists in 365 games across that span, going the full 90 in all but one match this campaign (missed due to yellow-card suspension).
In Chara's absence, the Timbers are expected to lean upon Evander and Cristhian Paredes as midfield leaders. They've also been without Eryk Williamson and David Ayala (both ACL injuries) for most of the year.
Portland's final six games, while chasing a playoff return, are as follows:
- Sept. 17 at Austin FC
- Sept. 20 vs. San Jose Earthquakes
- Sept. 23 vs. Colorado Rapids
- Sept. 30 at LA Galaxy
- Oct. 7 at CF Montréal
- Oct. 21 vs. Houston Dynamo FC