Minnesota United received confirmation of one of their worst fears on Friday, as tests revealed that star striker Pablo Campos has a torn ACL and MCL.
Campos was injured in United's match against Pro Player Academy in the UK. At the time, SoccerCentric correspondent Paul Duncan reported, "The only downside to what ended up being a nice workout was an injury to Campos, who needed treatment after tangling legs with a defender and falling awkwardly."
“An MRI has confirmed that Pablo has torn both his ACL and MCL and will require surgical treatment,” said United team physician, Dr. Corey Wulf of Twin Cities Orthopedics, in a press release.
The 31-year-old Brazilian scored 13 goals for United last year, good for second in the NASL. Minnesota had been counting on him to continue in his role as the most effective part of a sometimes-struggling attack.
The injury means that more pressure will likely fall on the shoulders of off-season signing Christian Ramirez. The former NAIA All-American scored eight times in 23 appearances for Charlotte in the third-division USL Pro last year. United may also return to the market for another striker - perhaps immediately, given that Ramirez and Nate Polak are the only real forwards on the Minnesota roster.
Minnesota sports fans are starting to get used to knee injuries of this type. Vikings running back Adrian Peterson tore both his ACL and MCL in December 2011, and while Peterson famously returned for the beginning of the 2012 season and earned an MVP award, it would appear that recovery times of a year or more are far more common for other athletes. For example, superstar Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose had surgery in May 2012, and couldn't return until the beginning of the 2013 season, more than a year later.
That said, United's press release claims that Campos may be able to return for the fall season, so perhaps only time can tell on this injury.