Sporting Kansas City forward Alan Pulido is likely to miss the entire 2022 Major League Soccer campaign following knee surgery set for January 17, head coach Peter Vermes revealed on Tuesday.
The club expects the player to be out for nine to 12 months, but will confirm the diagnosis after receiving results from the surgical procedure.
Pulido originally sustained the knee injury last spring during his time with the Mexican national team, and attempted to play through the pain. He made 21 appearances, recording eight goals and three assists.
Vermes also revealed that the player had a minor knee surgery in October to attempt to clear up the issue, but the long-term problem could not be fixed.
“It’s the knee he injured with the national team. I said this before and I’ll say it again: I give Alan a lot of credit,” Vermes said. “He did everything he could. He played through a lot of pain…It’s not good for him to be in pain all of the time and not be able to do the things he’s capable of as a player. This is the right approach and it should fix the problem.”
Pulido currently holds a Designated Player spot on Sporting Kansas City’s roster – a position Vermes will not be looking to replace as he is put on the injury list.
“It’s very hard to replace someone like Alan because of his quality,” Vermes told media on a virtual press conference. “He’s a high-quality player. I don’t know if we’re going to be able to do that, we’re going to do our best. We’ve been searching for quite a while now, we’ll continue until we find somebody.”
The Western Conference side returns to action on February 27 as they travel to Mercedes-Benz Stadium to face Atlanta United.