MONTREAL – When it rains, it pours.
Hours after the Montreal Impact confirmed that midfielder Hernán Bernardello would miss four to six weeks of action with a left ankle sprain he sustained in Philadelphia last Saturday, Bernardello himself hinted that defender Adrián López, who left training early on Tuesday after colliding with Blake Smith, could be out much longer.
“[My injury] is not a serious one,” Bernardello told reporters on Thursday. “It’s nothing compared to Adrián’s. I’ve had similar injury on my other foot, I’m used to it.”
An Impact spokesperson confirmed to MLSsoccer.com on Thursday that López was suffering from a serious injury, but that the duration of his absence was still unknown.
Bernardello and López are Montreal’s two most recent signings. Both were introduced as Impact players on July 26. Bernardello, the club’s second-ever Designated Player, has played six games in all competitions since his arrival, notching an assist 15 minutes into his debut. López, for his part, only played one CONCACAF Champions League match in Guatemala against CD Heredia and was ejected in the 44th minute.
With two crucial CCL fixtures coming up this month and a playoff race to complete, the Impact have no choice but to move quickly into problem-solving mode.
“I’m sad for Hernán and Adrián, who can’t do their job,” head coach Marco Schällibaum said. “On our side, we’re clearly losing two very important players. But it’s part of football. We can’t cry over it all day. We have to look for solutions.”
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While López left Complexe Sportif Claude-Robillard on crutches after Thursday’s training session, Bernardello could walk on his injured ankle – albeit with a protective boot – and meet the media.
The latter was upbeat as he answered questions on his injury, and while he lamented its timing, he expressed confidence that he would managed to help the team get into the playoffs.
“They tell me it’s going to be four to six weeks, but I think I can come back sooner,” Bernardello said. “I hope so, at least; my desires are speaking here. I have to trust the people that know this stuff, but I’m confident I can come back sooner.”