MONTREAL – Discomfort, a bruise and swelling. These were the early conclusions on Kenny Cooper’s health on Wednesday night, as he’d left the field with a right knee injury 32 minutes into Montreal’s 3-2 loss over Toronto FC in the Amway Canadian Championship. They were overly optimistic conclusions.
On Friday morning, Cooper was still limping. He was not training, and he may not do so for months. The knee injury is a bad one that may need arthroscopic surgery, head coach Frank Klopas said, thus ruling Cooper out from this Saturday’s game against Real Salt Lake at Stade Saputo.
“It’s incredible,” Klopas told reporters. “The guy just came in. At this moment, it doesn’t look good. How long he’s going to be out, I don’t know. Most likely, he might require arthroscopic surgery. It’s amazing. I don't know what to tell you. We just have to move on, and it's unfortunate for him, because he's been working hard.”
The injury occurred 38 seconds after Cooper scored Montreal’s first goal on Wednesday. Benoît Cheyrou slid in on Cooper, who was trying to chip TFC goalkeeper Chris Konopka from distance. Cooper tried to play on, but Jack McInerney checked in six minutes after Cheyrou's tackle.
Cooper thus joins many teammates on the injury list. Cameron Porter (torn ACL) and Justin Mapp (elbow) are still out indefinitely. Right back Hassoun Camara is still wearing a knee brace and will be unavailable for several weeks. Defenders Donny Toia and Victor Cabrera, for their part, have started running again but should not be available this weekend – on Friday, Cabrera told MLSsoccer.com that he could be ready in two weeks.
The bit of good news coming out of Wednesday’s game – especially given the depleted backline – is Maxim Tissot’s health. The left back banged his head hard on the advertising boards in the second half but completed the game.
It was Tissot’s second knock to the head in a week: a clash of heads with Warren Creavalle left him lying on the grass in the first leg of the Toronto series. But Tissot denied that he was concussed in both incidents.
“I haven’t had headaches since,” Tissot said. “I had headaches after the game, but I think it was more because of the impact, not because of concussion symptoms. I underwent concussion tests after the game, and the result was better than [after the first incident], when I had no concussion.”
In addition to all the injuries, Montreal will be without their head coach on Saturday. The MLS Disciplinary Committee fined Frank Klopas and suspended him for one game for entering the field of play in the 2-1 defeat to the Portland Timbers, last Saturday.
Although he understands the spirit of the rule and accepts the fine, Klopas feels that the suspension is excessive. Assistant coach Mauro Biello will take the reins.
“I respect the rules that they have, but the situation is that it’s the [90th] minute in the game, the ball is coming out and I want to get the ball back to our players to play instead of delaying,” Klopas said. “I stepped on the field. It’s a reaction thing.”