Injury curse hits Chivas USA again

[MLS] The depth that Chivas USA coach Preki and his players are touting as one of their attributes heading into the playoffs has taken another pair of hits.

Defender Lawson Vaughn, who has battled injuries all season while playing just seven games, will be out six months after undergoing ankle surgery, and midfielder Sasha Victorine could miss as much as a month with a left knee sprain suffered in a 2-1 loss to Colorado Sunday.

An MRI exam Monday revealed the extent of Victorine's injury, which forced him out of the game in the 25th minute. In five games (four starts) for Chivas USA, Victorine has scored two goals and recorded one assist. The 1999 Hermann Trophy winner during his college days at UCLA had been acquired in a trade with Kansas City on the trade-deadline day Sept 15. His return to action is projected as two to four weeks.

Vaughn underwent a procedure on his left ankle Tuesday at the Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, Md., where a surgeon performed a deltoid ligament reconstruction and removed bone spurs.

The team had placed him on the season-ending injury list Sept. 15, a fitting end to a brutal season. He suffered facial fractures upon being struck by Dwayne De Rosario's foot as the Dynamo attacker attempted a bicycle kick in May, and had been sidelined by ankle tendonitis and a right knee MCL sprain later in the season.

Victorine and Vaughn extend an already lengthy injury list that has limited playing time for Alecko Eskandarian, Ante Razov, Maykel Galindo, Claudio Suarez, Jonathan Bornstein, Alex Zotinca and Shavar Thomas in 2008.

"Last year, compared to the previous year, we had more depth," says midfielder and captain Jesse Marsch. "This year, compared to last year, I think we've got even more depth. Obviously, our team's been through a lot this year with injuries. It's not like it's been an easy go getting to where we are right now."

Chivas USA has clinched second place in the Western Conference with a 12-11-6 record (42 points) and will meet either Real Salt Lake or Colorado in the playoffs. It hosts conference champion Houston Saturday in the regular-season finale at Home Depot Center.

 

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