Teal Bunbury, who played in Prior Lake and for Shattuck-St. Mary's before joining Sporting Kansas City of Major League Soccer and the U.S. national team, is to undergo surgery Friday after tearing the ACL in his left knee earlier in the week.
Bunbury, who also damaged the LCL in the knee, is expected to need at least six months to recover. He will miss the rest of the MLS season, in a blow for Sporting Kansas City, which is atop the MLS Eastern Conference but seeing its lead over New York dwindle.
Bunbury was hurt Sunday as Sporting Kansas City scored early against the Red Bulls, en route to a 1-1 tie. He tried to play through the injury before leaving 10 minutes later.
In a tweet earlier this week, Bunbury thanked fans for their support: "Thank you all for the get well wishes! It means so much. You guys are the best. Feeling stronger already. God is good, God is great."
Sporting Kansas City coach Peter Vermes is confident in his team and in Bunbury, saying earlier in the week, "There is no panic." That was before New York's last-minute goal salvaged a 2-2 draw with D.C. United on Wednesday night, putting them one point behind SKC.