Sporting Kansas City will play without its leading scorer for the foreseeable future, though perhaps not as long as initially feared.
Gerso Fernandes has a labral tear and joint sprain in his right shoulder, tests concluded Monday. The injury will not require surgery.
Fernandes is classified as week-to-week. He is almost certainly out Thursday, when Sporting KC plays host to Philadelphia Union at 7:30 p.m., but his return will likely come within the month.
Fernandes departed Saturday’s match with the Portland Timbers in the 35th minute. He fell awkwardly onto his right shoulder after battling for the ball with Portland defender Alvas Powell. Fernandes immediately fell to the ground and signaled for medical attention as he winced in pain.
“My shoulder popped out. I felt something was wrong (immediately),” Fernandes said after the match. “I’m feeling better, but we’ll see.”
Fernandes said doctors were able to pop his shoulder back into place on the field, but he could not raise his arm without pain.
In his first season with Sporting KC, Fernandes has six goals in MLS play, one more than striker Dom Dwyer. He has also scored twice during U.S. Open Cup competition.
“He’s been one of our best players all year, so for him to not be able to play the rest of the game, that’s frustrating obviously for him as a player and for us as a team,” Sporting KC midfielder Benny Feilhaber said after Saturday’s match. “Hopefully it’s something that’s not too serious, and he can get back sooner rather than later.”
Sporting KC acquired Fernandes this offseason after he spent the previous five seasons playing in Portugal’s top flight. He had never scored more than five goals in a single season before arriving in Kansas City. On May 17, he became the first Sporting KC player in nearly seven years to record a hat trick when he netted three goals against the Seattle Sounders.
Daniel Salloi replaced Fernandes in the lineup Saturday, and he promptly scored the game-tying goal in the second half of the 1-1 draw.
Sporting KC will already spend the majority, if not all, of July without captain Matt Besler, defender Graham Zusi and striker Dom Dwyer, who are with the United States men’s national team. After Thursday’s match against Philadelphia, Sporting KC has a two-week break from MLS action. But it plays host to FC Dallas in the quarterfinals of the Open Cup on July 11.