TORONTO — Toronto FC's current modus operandi is to finish their 2013 campaign on a high note so the team’s young squad can build momentum for next season.
That plan now appears to have gotten more difficult.
TFC head coach Ryan Nelsen has indicated that he does not expect his Young Designated Player and midfield lynchpin Matias Laba to play again this season.
Laba fractured the big toe on his right foot during Toronto’s 2-0 loss to the Columbus Crew on Aug. 17, and the initial prognosis was that he was expected to be out of the lineup for four to six weeks.
However, according to Nelsen, Laba’s injury is such that Toronto is now likely going to shut down arguably their best player for the remainder of the season.
“Matias has a fractured toe and it is right in the joint,” Nelsen told MLSsoccer.com. “So he is out 4-6 weeks, but because it is a joint fracture, it is something that you have to be very careful with.
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“I’m not going to rush him back for the sake of two to three games because it is a joint fracture,” Nelsen added. “If he reoccurs that injury again, that 4-6 weeks becomes 10-12 weeks and an annoying thing for a lifetime. Because of the position of the fracture, we have to be really careful.”
The 21-year-old Argentine has been a shining light for Toronto this season and started 16 matches since signing with TFC on April 26 following a move from Argentinos Juniors.