UPDATE, Monday, Feb. 24, 2:50 pm ET: Arriola has undergone reconstructive surgery on his torn ACL, D.C. United announced Monday. The operation was reportedly successful, with no additional damage discovered in his meniscal or articular cartilage. The midfielder will begin his lengthy rehab on Wednesday in Herndon, Virginia at the facility of OrthaVirgnia, where the operation took place.
D.C. United midfielder Paul Arriola will undergo ACL reconstruction surgery on Monday and is expected to miss up to nine months rehabbing from the procedure, a timeline that would keep him out the entire 2020 MLS season, the club confirmed on Saturday.
Arriola tore his right ACL in a preseason match on Feb. 15. A nine-month recovery timeline would put his return to full health for the 25-year-old several weeks after the 2020 MLS Cup, slated for Nov. 7. It also puts his return after Matchdays 5 and 6 of the Concacaf Hexagonal round of qualifying for the FIFA 2022 World Cup, in which the US national team is expected to take part.
Arriola is expected to be sidelined for up to nine months as he rehabilitates from the injury.— D.C. United (@dcunited) February 22, 2020
The timeline reflects what was expected after news first broke of the injury, but marks the first it has been confirmed by the club.
The recovery will mark Arriola's first extended absence since signing for D.C. as a Designated Player in the 2017 MLS Secondary Transfer Window. He has 68 MLS appearances (64 starts) for the Black-and-Red in two-and-a-half seasons, scoring 14 goals and adding 12 assists.
He marks the third familiar attacking face D.C. fans will be without this season, following the exits of Wayne Rooney and Luciano Acosta this past offseason. Coach Ben Olsen's side will attempt to make up for those absences with the offseason acquisitions of Yamil Asad, Edison Flores and Julian Gressel.
Internationally, Arriola has been a regular fixture for the US men's most important matches. He made seven appearances in the Americans' failed attempt to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and playing in five matches in each of their last two runs to the Concacaf Gold Cup final, winning the trophy in 2017.