Real Salt Lake midfielder Pablo Ruiz out after knee surgery

Pablo Ruiz RSL

Real Salt Lake will likely be without Pablo Ruiz for the rest of the 2023 MLS season, as the club announced Monday the midfielder recently underwent knee surgery to repair his right meniscus.

Ruiz is expected to miss 4-6 months after suffering a non-contact injury in last week’s Leagues Cup defeat at LAFC. For timeline tracking: the regular season concludes Oct. 21 with Decision Day, while MLS Cup will be played Dec. 9.

The 24-year-old Argentine has been stellar for RSL this season, tallying four goals and six assists in 17 league matches (15 starts). He is in his sixth season at the club, memorably scoring an AT&T 5G Goal of the Year contender in a mid-June match at D.C. United.

Without Ruiz, RSL are expected to lean on U22 Initiative signings Braian Ojeda and Nelson Palacio in central midfield. The ever-versatile Jasper Löffelsend is another option for head coach Pablo Mastroeni.

RSL entered the Leagues Cup break on an upward trajectory, going 6W-0L-3D over nine matches to vault up to third on the Western Conference table. They have 10 regular-season games left and will visit Houston Dynamo FC on Aug. 23 in the US Open Cup semifinals, putting them within grasp of a 2024 Concacaf Champions Cup spot.