[MLS] Rookie Ike Opara, a key part of the San Jose Earthquakes' turnaround, has been sidelined with a broken left foot that will require surgery.
There is no timetable for his return.
What makes the injury even more unfortunate is that Opara only joined the team full-time this summer after completing his junior year of studies at Wake Forest.
Opara was hurt in Saturday's 1-0 loss at home to Seattle that moved the Sounders ahead of the Quakes and Colorado in the Western Conference standings.
Opara, the No. 3 pick in the 2010 SuperDraft, won a starting job in the middle of the San Jose defense and scored goals in its second and third games of the season but then didn't play in May as he lost his starting job.
He was only available Thursday-Saturday early in the season as he commuted back and forth between Winston-Salem, N.C., and San Jose.
Opara isn't the only rookie starter to be sidelined. Right back Steven Beitashour broke his right hand in practice Monday.