Michael Bradley suffered a Grade 2 MCL strain on Tuesday which will sideline the Toronto FC captain for weeks, coach Greg Vanney confirmed in a conference call with reporters Thursday afternoon.
An MRI Wednesday revealed the knee injury that sustained on an Emanuel Maciel stoppage-time tackle in Toronto's 1-0 loss to the Montreal Impact at BMO Field. The tackle was first deemed a red card but changed to a yellow card following Video Review.
“Timeline-wise, it’s weeks, it's not months,” Vanney said. “We’ll see just how he progresses, I guess. He’ll be out for a little while, we’ll see.”
As for the rationale behind changing the card to a yellow, Vanney said the indication he received was that referee Drew Fisher believed Maciel’s challenge “wasn’t a studs-up scenario.”
“It’s still a dangerous tackle, you can still break someone’s leg if you go in on them shin-high with your knee or any other part,” Vanney said. “He’s putting one small piece of the rule into making that judgment, which is studs up is one way you can get a red card, but it’s not the only way you can get a red card. He seems to have made his judgment based off of that one piece of information.”
VIDEO REVIEW: Emanuel Maciel Red Card Review, Montreal Impact - 97th minute
With Bradley out for the foreseeable future, Vanney tabbed Liam Fraser as one possible option to fill that void in the center of the park when Toronto FC heads to Vancouver to take on the Whitecaps Saturday (9:30 pm ET | TSN1 in Canada; MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US).
“He’s done well in the minutes that he’s gotten in for us through this stretch,” Vanney said. “He’s definitely in consideration especially as we just tally up where everybody is at as we go into this game. He’s done well so I suspect he’s a part of the mix and part of the guys who can take up some of that space Michael usually covers.”