Javier Morales suffers broken left ankle
Real Salt Lake attacking midfielder Javier Morales suffered a broken left ankle on Saturday, it was announced via the club's Twitter account.
A preliminary diagnosis by team dcotor Andrew Cooper classified the injury as a "fracture dislocation and ligament tears" with a expected recovery time of at least four months.
The 31-year-old Argentine was stretchered from the field at Rio Tinto Stadium after being taken down from behind in the 38th minute by countryman Marcos Mondaiani.
The challenge occurred after Morales, in possession, cut in from the left flank, toward the arc. Morales appeared close to putting a shot on goal when Mondaiani, beaten on the play, took him down from behind, Morales's left ankle getting caught under Mondaini's slide.
Morales immediately clutched his leg while Mondaini was showned a straight red card, leaving Chivas USA down two men, with Andrew Boyens having already accumulated two yellow cards. Morales also left the game, albeit under different circumstances, with Andy Williams brought on as his substitute, replays showing the Argentine's lower leg bending at an unnatural angle under the weight of the tackle.
The challenge from Mondaiani, on loan from Uruguayan club CA Fenix, comes as just over one week after Major League Soccer handed Colorado Rapids midfielder Brian Mullan a 10-match suspension for a reckless foul that caused multiple breaks in the left leg of Seattle Sounder Steve Zakuani. With reigning league Most Valuable Player David Ferreira having suffered a fractured ankle two weeks ago, MLS is looking at the third long-term absence incurred by a star player in just over two weeks.
Real Salt Lake went on to defeat Chivas USA 1-0 on a 87th minute goal from Will Johnson.