Rapids' Rivero suffers broken foot, will miss 2-3 months

One game into their preseason schedule, and the Colorado Rapids have already lost one of their most important players to injury.

The club announced on Wednesday that Midfielder Martín Rivero is expected to miss 2-3 months of action after suffering a fractured right foot during the Rapids’ 3-1 loss to the Portland Timbers on Tuesday in Tucson, Ariz. Rivero hurt his right foot in an awkward collision in the 44th minute of the match, and will return to Denver on Wednesday for further medical examination.

Rivero tweeted a picture of his right foot in a cast on Tuesday night.

The 23-year-old joined Colorado from Argentine Primera B side Rosario Central on a two-year loan last February and quickly established himself as one of the team’s impact players. After missing the first three games of 2012 due to paperwork issues, Rivero went on to start 30 of the Rapids’ final 31 games, scoring two goals and leading the team with eight assists while establishing himself as one of the cornerstones of Pareja’s revamped possession-based attack.

Recently signed Chilean attacking midfielder Kevin Harbottle could step into Rivero’s place should he be out for an extended period of time.

The Rapids lost Tuesday’s match at the Kino Sports Complex in Tucson, 3-1. Rookie DeShorn Brown scored the Colorado’s lone goal in the 88th minute.

Chris Bianchi covers the Colorado Rapids for MLSsoccer.com.