Whitfield undergoes successful hernia surgery

CHICAGO - The Chicago Fire today announced that veteran defender/midfielder Evan Whitfield underwent successful surgery this morning to repair a sports hernia. The procedure was performed by Dr. Richard Cattey in Milwaukee, WI, and the recovery time for Whitfield will be approximately six weeks. Earlier today the Fire announced that Whitfield, 27, was one of eight Fire players placed on the unprotected list and left available for selection in the upcoming MLS Expansion Draft.

The tenacious Whitfield has been a member of the Fire since being selected out of Duke University in the First Round (11th overall) of the 1999 MLS College Draft. After playing one season with KAA Gent in the Belgian First Division in 1999, Whitfield rejoined the "Men in Red" for the 2000 campaign and has been a solid contributor ever since, racking up 18 points on three goals and 12 assists while amassing 103 games played, which places him seventh on the club's all-time appearances list. After suffering a torn left ACL at the onset of the 2002 season, Whitfield returned to play in 50 of the Fire's 60 regular season contests over the past two years. In 2004, Whitfield started in 19 of his 23 appearances, collecting a point on an assist.