D.C. United announced Wednesday that two players have undergone surgeries to correct recurring injuries. Defender Ryan Nelsen is expected to miss six weeks of action while forward Santino Quaranta could miss three to four weeks as a result of the procedures.
Test results on Tuesday confirmed that Nelsen had a sports hernia. Dr. Richard Cattey, a specialist based in Milwaukee, Wis., performed a successful hernia repair on Nelsen, a surgery similar to the one the same doctor performed on former United defender Galin Ivanov in 2003. Nelsen will return to Washington, D.C. on Thursday in order to begin rehab work.
Nelsen, the captain of the Black-and-Red, has led by example this season, scoring a pair of opportune goals while marshalling United's back line with authority. Also captain of the New Zealand men's national team, Nelsen was elected to the Eastern Conference starting XI for the Sierra Mist All-Star Game - his second mid-season nod - but must now sit out this weekend's event. He was also named to the Major League Soccer Best XI in 2003, and was chosen as United's ADT Defender of the Year.
"We are pleased that Ryan's surgery was a success and look forward to his return to the line-up," said United technical director Dave Kasper.
To alleviate his continuing groin pain, Quaranta underwent a surgical debridement performed by Dr. Ivan Ducic, a nerve specialist, and Dr. Chris Addinger, a plastic surgeon, at Georgetown University Hospital. The specialists removed pockets of scar tissue that were impinging on femoral nerve endings near the site of two previous adductor surgeries performed this season.
Quaranta, a first round draftee in the 2001 MLS SuperDraft, was - before teammate Freddy Adu - the youngest player to appear, start and score a goal in an MLS match, and youngest player to be chosen to the All-Star team. Although he has yet to appear in a league match for the Black-and-Red in 2004, Quaranta played the final 25 minutes of United's friendly against Nottingham Forest, tallying a goal in the penalty shootout.
"We are confident that this procedure will correct Santino's ongoing pain and allow him to resume playing," added Kasper.