Vancouver Whitecaps striker Lucas Cavallini out six weeks with knee injury

Vancouver Whitecaps FC forward Lucas Cavallini will be out for six weeks after suffering a left knee injury in last weekend's 1-1 draw against the LA Galaxy, club reporter Sarita Patel noted Wednesday.

With that timeline, the 28-year-old is slated to return by late September as the playoff race truly heats up. The timing is tough, with Vancouver soon returning to BC Place after setting up shop at Real Salt Lake’s Rio Tinto Stadium for the first half of the 2021 season – a measure enacted due to cross-border COVID-19 pandemic travel limitations.

Cavallini, one of two Designated Players in Vancouver alongside midfielder Ryan Gauld, has three goals and one assist in 12 games (11 starts) this year in just under 1,000 minutes played. He was acquired ahead of last season from Liga MX side Puebla, then had six goals in 18 games (16 starts) during the 2020 campaign.

Without the Canadian international, Vancouver will lean on Gauld and wingers Cristian Dajome and Deiber Caicedo even more. Dajome and Caicedo have combined for 11 goals and five assists this year, while Brian White and Tosaint Ricketts are the most likely options at center forward. The club also has forwards Theo Bair and David Egbo out on loan.

The Whitecaps return to action on Friday evening at the San Jose Earthquakes (10:30 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+). They sit bottom of the Western Conference standings with 16 points through 17 games.