San Jose Earthquakes fear season-ending injury for right back Andreas Gorlitz

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The battle for playing time at right back among the San Jose Earthquakes might have just ended in a TKO.

Veteran Andreas Görlitz, who joined the Quakes this winter as part of a tandem meant to replace Steven Beitashour, suffered a right knee injury late in the first half of San Jose’s scoreless tie with the Colorado Rapids on Wednesday – and coach Mark Watson said it was possible the 32-year-old’s campaign is over after just three league appearances.

“The doctors are still looking at him right now, but it doesn’t look good,” Watson told reporters after the match. “It could be the end of his season. ... It’s looking like that.”

Watson said Görlitz will have an MRI scan to determine the full extent of the damage.

Görlitz, who left the Quakes’ dressing room on crutches, did not speak to the media. The former Bayern Munich defender was hurt in the 43rd minute following a hard shoulder charge from Rapids teen midfielder Charles Eloundou as they both chased down a long pass into the Quakes’ penalty area.

The former German international planted his right foot just before the impact, and immediately went down, grabbing at his knee while rolling past the end line. Referee Ismail Elfath and Quakes goalkeeper Jon Busch immediately signaled for trainers to come to the aid of Görlitz, who saw his Bayern career derailed after tearing the ACL in his left knee in 2004.

“That was gutting,” Quakes captain Chris Wondolowski said of the injury. “Any time you see a knee injury like that, it makes your stomach turn. You never want to see that for either team, any person. Andy’s a great guy and really playing well, so it’s unfortunate.”