Jermain Defoe ruled out of Toronto FC finale with groin injury, Gilberto refutes transfer rumors

TORONTO – Barring a miracle in the training room, Jermain Defoe’s 2014 season is over, .

Toronto FC’s star Designated Player signing is set to miss the club’s final match on Saturday against the New England Revolution after re-aggravating a groin injury he picked up earlier in the season.

“I don’t think he’ll be available for the weekend,” TFC head coach Greg Vanney told reporters at training Tuesday. “He’s in progressive treatment and rehab. I have not heard the latest from the report of the scan, but I don’t think he’s prepared to play.”

Defoe’s 2014 season with Toronto FC ends with the English striker scoring 11 goals in 19 appearances, the team high. He logged just over 1500 minutes and started 17 matches, but spent a long portion of the season sidelined with injuries, missing 14 games through injury or suspension.

Defoe signed a four-year contract with Toronto FC before the 2014 season, but was the subject of transfer rumors in the summer window, linked with Harry Redknapp’s Queens Park Rangers side.

Defoe, who was in England rehabbing at the time, returned to Toronto and told reporters he was committed to the club.

Meanwhile, Toronto FC’s other Designated Player forward, Brazilian Gilberto, has been rumored with a move of his own. However, Gilberto put a stop to that talk.

“No, the rumors aren’t true,” Gilberto said through a translator. “Any report you’ve seen of me, you know I’ve always been happy, I’ve always commented that I’m happy at the club. Now is really not the time to be talking about transfers; it’s not even up to me, it’s up to the club, the GM and the coach about next season and what they want to do with the team."

“I’m happy here. If I’m going to leave or not, it’s not up to me,” he added. “I have no complaints about the club and I’m happy to play here.”

Despite the constant transfer rumors linking TFC players elsewhere, Vanney says he hasn’t heard anything from the players themselves.  

“I’m pretty sure that most of the guys want to be here,” Vanney said. “If there are guys who don’t want to be here, they haven’t told me directly. Those conversations will happen after the last game. I think the core group that wants to be here will be here and we’ll build from those guys. If there are guys who don’t want to be here, then that’s fine. That’s not the type of player that we want here anyways.

“We need to start getting people that are in this for the long haul. I haven’t had any indication from anyone specifically that they’re not willing to be here. If that comes out, we’ll figure out what happens next.”

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