Timbers’ Darlington Nagbe escapes de Jong’s tackle without breaking ankle
Timbers midfielder Darlington Nagbe has a sprained left ankle and won’t play in Portland’s game against Dallas Wednesday night, becoming the latest player to miss time because of a Nigel de Jong challenge.
Coach Caleb Porter confirmed Nagbe’s injury following practice Tuesday. Nagbe also is likely to miss Saturday’s game against New York City FC.
Nagbe, who made his U.S. national team debut in November, was taken from the field on a stretcher following de Jong’s hit in the game against the Los Angeles Galaxy. Nagbe left StubHub Center in a wheelchair.
De Jong broke the legs of American midfielder Stuart Holden and Newcastle winger Hatem Ben Arfa in 2010, the same year the Dutchman kicked Spain’s Xabi Alonso in the chest during the World Cup final.
Referee Allen Chapman gave de Jong a yellow card Sunday. Major League Soccer’s disciplinary committee could issue a suspension.
De Jong apologized to Nagbe following the tackle.
"It’s a pity, but that’s football, as well," de Jong told reporters following the 1-1 draw. "It was never my intention, and when a ball comes in that situation, you always go for it 100 percent. Unfortunately, I caught him."
The injury is less severe than it initially appeared, but Nagbe could still miss several weeks or more. Porter did not put a timeline on his return.
If de Jong is suspended, it will mark the third time this season for the Timbers that an opposing player has been suspended after the fact.