HOUSTON — The Houston Dynamo got bad news on the injury front Monday regarding one young starter and are preparing to hear the same on another.
According to the Houston Chronicle, an MRI early Monday revealed that midfielder Danny Cruz has a partially torn quad and is expected to miss four to six weeks. In addition to Cruz’s injury, Will Bruin also missed Monday’s training to undergo an MRI, although the extent of his injury is not yet known.
"It's going to be a lot of swelling for right now," the 21-year-old told the Chronicle.
Cruz was scratched from the lineup that beat Seattle 3-1 on Saturday morning. The energetic winger told MLSsoccer.com before the match that he took the knock in finishing drills at the end of Friday’s training.
His absence opened the door for newcomer Adam Moffat to make his first start in central midfield while Colin Clark took Cruz’s place on the right side. The change worked out well for Houston, with Moffat and Clark both putting in good performances.
Bruin’s injury came early in Saturday’s match when the rookie went down favoring his left knee. After trying to play through the injury, Bruin was lifted in the 31st minute for Cam Weaver.
After Monday’s training, Kinnear was not optimistic that Bruin would be available for a weekend match against the Philadelphia Union. Bruin himself announced via twitter that he will undergo surgery Tuesday morning on what is believed to be a left knee injury, although the extent of his injury and expected time he will be out is not yet known.
“We just got back to having four [forwards] and now we’re back to having three,” lamented the coach. “It’s tough to take but that’s the way it goes. Will’s had a good season so far. … It's part of professional sports that you can get injured from time to time, but we hope it’s not as bad as we think it might be.”
If Bruin is indeed out this weekend, replacing the rookie will be tough. The forward has started 20 games and has adapted well to playing off target strikers Cam Weaver and Brian Ching.
Without the rookie, the club’s three healthy strikers are Ching, Weaver and Jason Garey, while Alex Dixon — who has played some minutes as a forward late in games — could be another option.
In addition to Cruz and Bruin, Hunter Freeman missed Monday’s training with what Kinnear characterized as a bruised big toe. Kinnear expects his fullback to be available for Saturday’s match against the Union.
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on twitter at @Dynamoexaminer.