Fire midfielder Mapp injures knee

CHICAGO - The Chicago Fire have announced that midfielder Justin Mapp will miss the next 4-6 weeks of action after suffering a Grade II sprain of his right knee lateral collateral ligament (LCL) in addition to a bone bruise in his right knee. The current timeframe for Mapp's recovery will mean that the talented young flanker will miss at least the remainder of the Fire's 2004 MLS regular season campaign. Mapp suffered the injuries during the Fire's practice session last Friday at its Lake Forest training facility, and he underwent an MRI on Monday to determine the extent of the injury.

The 19-year-old Mapp has enjoyed a breakout season with the Fire up to this point, having scored 10 points (3g, 4a) in 24 games (21 starts) for the "Men in Red" in his second season with the club. After notching six points on a pair of goals and assists in the Fire's last two games, the native of Brandon, Miss., finished second in the MLS Honda Player of the Week voting for the week ending Sept. 5 (Week 23), a performance that stretched his point-scoring streak to a career-best three games.

In his young MLS career, the speedy midfielder has scored 19 points on six goals and seven assists in 48 contests. After playing only 28 minutes in three games during his rookie season at D.C. United in 2002, Mapp became a steady contributor in his first year with the Fire in 2003, scoring nine points on three goals and three assists in 21 games in his first full season as a professional. The Fire acquired Mapp in a trade with D.C. United on Dec. 26, 2002 in exchange for midfielder Dema Kovalenko.

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