WASHINGTON – D.C. United were dealt a bit of bad news Tuesday when the club announced that midfielder John Thorrington will miss eight to 12 weeks with a severe MCL sprain in his left knee.
The injury is the same one that sidelined United captain Dwayne De Rosario at the conclusion of last season.
Thorrington (above, left) was injured in the second half of Saturday’s 1-0 victory against Real Salt Lake at RFK Stadium when he attempted to block a shot by RSL’s Álvaro Saborío.
“Saborío turned toward me and was hitting a left-footed shot,” Thorrington said. “I don’t think he saw me and I went and blocked his shot, but I put my foot right at the point of impact. So rather than him kicking the ball into my foot, I took the full force of his leg and the lower half of my leg externally rotated with the ball on his foot, which then tore the MCL.”
Thorrington, 33, has had a lengthy injury history and recovered from a sprained MCL in 2006. He’s confident he can again recover and contribute meaningful minutes down the stretch.
“This type of injury, where it’s just a freak thing and I know what I’m dealing with and I’m not dealing with any past issues, will be easier for me to deal with,” he said. “It’s unfortunate, it’s disappointing, but it’s easier for me to wrap my head around this one than the thoughts of ‘not this again.’”
The veteran midfielder helped create D.C.’s first goal of the season with his chip on goal that RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando dove to stop. He failed to control the rebound, however, which Lionard Pajoy headed home.
“For me, the first thing that he provides is leadership and sort of a calmness,” midfielder Chris Pontius said of Thorrington. “I know he might not be the most athletic player, but he’s creative and can find spots and get you the ball in good spots. And we lose that. It sucks. I feel for Johnny. You work all preseason to get fit for the season and in the second game, this thing happens.”