Toronto FC goalkeeper Clint Irwin ruled out 4-5 weeks to hamstring strain

Toronto FC will have to do without Clint Irwin for a while, but the injury news on the Reds’ starting goalkeeper was better than originally feared.

TFC announced on Sunday that Irwin has been diagnosed with a hamstring strain, a setback sustained in the first half of Friday night’s 0-0 draw against Sporting KC, and is expected to be out of the lineup for 4-5 weeks.

Many observers were bracing for news of a serious knee injury when Irwin’s left boot got caught awkwardly in the rain-soaked grass at BMO Field as he made a save on Sporting’s Soony Saad on Friday. Irwin had to leave the match, replaced by backup Alex Bono, but will likely only miss a month or so of action.

Irwin, who marked his 28th birthday over the weekend, appeared in 25 regular-season and playoff matches last year, recording nine shutouts and compiling a 10-7-7 record to help Toronto reach MLS Cup for the first time in club history. His efforts earned him a new contract over the winter.

The former Colorado Rapids netminder missed several midseason months due to a separate injury in 2016, during which time Bono deputized capably, compiling an 8-3-5 record in goal. Toronto have conceded just 2 goals in their first four games of 2017 en route to a 1-0-3 start.

TFC’s next match is a home clash with expansion side Atlanta United FC on Saturday (7:30 pm ET | TSN4/TSN5 in Canada, MLS LIVE in US).

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