The injury bug continues to feast on Sporting Kansas City's roster, with Aurelien Collin becoming the latest casualty.
Sporting KC, 6-6-8, announced Thursday that the 25-year-old French defender, who was signed in April, would miss four to six weeks with fractures in his lower back.
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Collin left Saturday's 4-2 win against Toronto FC when he took a knee to the back, which resulted in a non-displaced fracture of the transverse process of the L2 and L3 vertebrae.
Basically, there are fractures in the bony protrusions on either side of those lumbar vertebrae. Surgery won't be required since the bones are not displaced, but the injury is a painful one.
“Getting out of bad takes five minutes, and it hurts just to get in the car,” Collin said.
Manager Peter Vermes, who suffered a similar injury during his playing days, credited the defense's impeccable shape for the recent 12-game unbeaten streak that has moved Sporting KC up to fourth place in the Eastern Conference.
But the timing of Collin's injury, which comes as the club enters its toughest home stretch with upcoming contests against the top four clubs in the Western Division, threatens to stifle that momentum.
Sporting KC already is playing without captain and midfielder Davy Arnaud, who had surgery to repair a sports hernia, and Craig Rocastle, who isn't expected to return until mid-August.
Forward Omar Bravo also missed time with a sports hernia and back injury earlier in the season.
But Vermes likes the depth he has assembled on the roster and Collin, who has started 15 games and solidified the back line paired with MLS All-Star Matt Besler at center back, has faith that his teammates will rally together in his absence.
“We have three months left in the season, so we have time and we have other very good defenders on the team,” Collin said. “I'm not worried, but I want to be back as soon as possible.”
Newcomer Daniel Cyrus, a 20-year-old on loan from FC Santa Rosa in his native Trinidad and Tobago, replaced Collin for the duration of the victory against Toronto.
Cyrus is in the mix to replace Collin along with veteran Brazilian Julio Cesar and Shavar Thomas, who recently returned from a trial with Portsmouth in the English Premier League.
“I'm sad right now,” Collin said. “No one wants to be hurt, especially when the team is playing so well. But that's life. You get injuries and now I have to do all I can to be back as soon as possible.”