SAN JOSE, Calif. – The San Jose Earthquakes will have to see if they can continue their season-best three-match unbeaten run without one of that streak’s primary instigators.
Quakes coach Mark Watson told reporters Wednesday that Yannick Djalo – who collected two goals, two assists and one MLS Player of the Week award from his last two matches – is expected to miss up to four weeks with a right quad strain incurred against Seattle on Saturday. The Portuguese attacker is definitely out for San Jose’s road match Friday against the red-hot LA Galaxy (10:30 pm ET, NBCSN, watch FREE at NBCSports.com).
“We’ve heard from one to four weeks,” Watson said. “They’re still in the evaluation process. It’s still settling down from the weekend.”
It is another knock in a stop-start debut MLS campaign for Djalo. The 28-year-old, on loan from Benfica, has played only 785 of a possible 1,710 league minutes due to a variety of soft-tissue ailments.
“He’s very optimistic,” Watson said of Djalo. “He feels he’s improved a lot just in the past couple of days. But we’re still working off that [one-to-four-week] timeframe. It’s kind of monitoring it day to day.”
This latest injury comes at an especially bad time for San Jose. Djalo and team captain Chris Wondolowski had formed a dynamic front-line partnership in victories against Seattle and Chicago. Djalo, who scored the only goal in the Sounders match off a long feed from Wondolowski late in the first half, went down just past the hour mark while trying to chase a similar ball from the US international.
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There was one piece of good news Wednesday for the Quakes: New Designated Player Matias Perez Garcia should be available to debut against the Galaxy, Watson said, which could help soften the blow of Djalo's absence.
Perez Garcia would prefer to be used on the right flank but could be pressed into service more centrally Friday, replacing Djalo. Watson said that was just one option the team was considering, but the Quakes are boxed in by other absences: target forward Steven Lenhart is fresh off minor knee surgery, rookie teenager Tommy Thompson isn’t expected back in practice until Thursday after participating in the Chipotle Homegrown Game this week and veteran Alan Gordon, who has played only one minute in San Jose’s last three matches, was an early departure from training Wednesday.