The Chicago Fire just got the worst possible news at the worst possible time.
Attacking midfielder Michael de Leeuw picked up an injury late in the first half of the Fire’s 1-1 draw against New York City FC on Saturday. It looked bad. Pauno acknowledged it looked bad. But there was still some faint hope that maybe MdL’s injury wasn’t actually as bad as it looked.
Those hopes have now been dashed. Imaging tests have confirmed that De Leeuw suffered a rupture in his left ACL. He’s scheduled to have surgery to repair the injury at Rush Presbyterian in the coming weeks and is facing a lengthy recovery period afterward.
Healing from this injury typically takes at least six months, and can sometimes require up to twelve months of recovery time. Even with optimistic projections, this means MdL’s season is over.
Needless to say, this is one bit of bad news the Fire did not need right now. They’re now facing the prospect of finishing out the regular season and navigating their first playoff campaign in five years without one of their most effective contributors. Things are looking more and more bleak for the Men In Red.