Portland Timbers midfielder David Ayala out after knee surgery

David Ayala

Portland Timbers midfielder David Ayala is out for approximately two months after undergoing successful surgery on his right knee (arthroscopic debridement), the club announced Thursday.

The 20-year-old Argentine is heading into his second MLS season after logging 738 minutes (21 games; eight starts) during his debut campaign. He joined Portland ahead of 2022 from Argentine Primera División side Estudiantes, signing a long-term U22 Initiative deal.

With Ayala out, Portland’s first-choice midfield trio of club captain Diego Chara, US international Eryk Williamson and club-record signing Evander remains. They also have Cristhian Paredes as another key piece.

Portland, after narrowly missing the Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs, open their 2023 slate on Feb. 25 when hosting Sporting Kansas City (10:30 pm ET | MLS Season Pass). Based on the timeline provided, Ayala may return for Matchday 6 or 7.