Orlando City SC could be without their biggest star for Sunday’s crucial home match against Sporting Kansas City (7 pm ET, FS1).
The club announced Thursday that Kaká returned from Brazilian national team duty late Wednesday night with a minor leg muscle injury. He will be evaluated Thursday by OCSC physicians, with his status currently listed as day-to-day.
The Designated Player, who has 9 goals and 4 assists in 25 games with Orlando this year, played the final 23 minutes of Brazil’s 1-0 win against Costa Rica last Friday before sitting out the country’s 4-1 Tuesday romp over the US.
“We are incredibly disappointed with this recent development for Kaká and for our fans,” said Orlando City general manager Paul McDonough, in a statement released by the club. “He has played 25 games for us so far this season, over 2,100 minutes, without any major issues or concerns. To the contrary, he undergoes one training session and match with the Brazilian National Team and he is injured.
“International call-ups have been a challenge for us, as we are also evaluating an injured Darwin Cerén following his participation with El Salvador,” continued McDonough. “It’s the same thing we faced with Brek Shea earlier in the year after he returned from play with the US National Team. Unfortunately, we are obliged to release these players according to FIFA rules, and then are left to deal with the fallout after the fact. Again, I am very disappointed for our fans and for our injured players.”
Cerén will also be evaluated by team physicians upon his return to Orlando. He was injured during El Salvador’s qualifying match last Friday, remaining with the team through their match against Curaçao last night, though he did not play.
Orlando City will provide updated information on the status of both players in the coming days.