Dwayne de Rosario's MCL injury has turned out to be serious enough to rule out the D.C. United midfielder for the rest of the regular season, according to a report on their official site. The club has described the injury as a 'grade III MCL sprain', which is actually more akin to a complete tear than a sprain, and the official prognosis is 10-12 weeks out, pointing to a potential return in very late November at the earliest.
While it was obvious that de Rosario was set to miss some time, this is pretty much the worst possible scenario for the team -- they're losing their best player at a time when they are already slipping down the Eastern Conference standings. A 3-4-2 run has left them one point behind the Columbus Crew for the final playoff spot, and even if they do somehow sneak into the post-season, they're unlikely to make any major splash there without him.
The 34-year-old, who has seven goals and 12 assists on the year, was injured while playing for the Canadian national team in their World Cup qualifying match against Panama after D.C. United failed to make the requisite sacrifices to the international soccer deities. Despite the team's poor record without him, head coach Ben Olsen's still bullish about their chances:
DeRo is our captain, a great player and impossible to replace. With that said, we have talented players that will step up in his absence and this injury will not be an excuse to fall short of goals we set for ourselves as a team at the beginning of the season.
To do so, Olsen will probably have to come up with one impressive backup plan, and de Rosario's supporting cast are going to have to step things up significantly as well.