San Jose Earthquakes defender Nathan out indefinitely after ACL injury

Nathan San Jose

San Jose Earthquakes defender Nathan is "out indefinitely" with a right anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury and will undergo surgery, the club announced Thursday.

No timetable was given for the 27-year-old Brazilian center back's return from the injury, which he suffered in a preseason friendly against USL Championship side Monterey Bay FC on Saturday. Nathan has now endured knee injuries in back-to-back seasons, tearing his left meniscus in San Jose's 2022 season opener. 

Nathan has been a stalwart for San Jose since his 2021 midseason arrival from Swiss Super League side FC Zürich. He has started all 46 of his MLS appearances across the last two seasons, contributing five goals while providing a stabilizing force defensively.

Elsewhere on their center back depth chart, the Quakes have 2022 midseason arrival Rodrigues, who became a first-choice starter alongside Nathan after joining on loan from Brazilian side Grêmio. Other options for first-year head coach Luchi Gonzalez include Stanford product Tanner Beason, homegrown product Casey Walls and Oskar Ågren. Daniel Munie, a 2023 SuperDraft presented by adidas first-round pick (No. 10 overall), is unsigned and in preseason camp.

The Earthquakes open their 2023 campaign on Feb. 25 when visiting Atlanta United (7:30 pm ET | MLS Season Pass), chasing an Audi MLS Cup Playoffs return after finishing bottom of the Western Conference table last season.