Fire defender Adaílton underwent a core muscle repair procedure on Tuesday and will be out approximately six to eight weeks, the club announced Wednesday.
The Brazilian last featured with the Men in Red in a 2-2 draw with the New England Revolution on July 25, and emerged with an adductor strain that has kept him out of the lineup since.
Adaílton, 32, did not react well to the injection he received last week, Fire coach Frank Yallop said before the trip to Orlando last Friday.
[NBC SHOP: Buy a Fire jersey here]
"After discussing this with our medical staff, it was determined that surgery was the best course of action," Yallop said in a statement. "It's always unfortunate when a player misses an extended amount of time but this was a lingering issue that Adaílton had been struggling with for some time."
Adaílton, who joined the team on Dec. 30, 2014, scored one goal in 17 matches with the Fire this season and appeared in all three Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup fixtures. Tuesday's surgery could keep the centerback out of contention as early as Oct. 13 - five days prior to an Eastern Conference showdown at D.C. United - and as late as Oct. 27, two days following the club's final regular season contest of 2015 against the New York Red Bulls.
With the defender out, the Fire will likely continue to build on the steady partnership between Eric Gehrig and Jeff Larentowicz. Depending on how quickly he settles on his return from international duty, newly acquired centerback Daneil Cyrus could become the primary backup option. Ty Harden, who recently re-aggravated his hamstring, could also provide depth to the position upon his recovery.
The Fire have secured the transfer of midfielder Aleksandar Katai from Deportivo Alavés of the Spanish La Liga, the team announced Wednesday afternoon.
This season’s breakout playmaker has been signed with Chicago through 2019, with a 2020 club option. Before the transfer, Katai was on loan from Alavés, which was set to expire after July.
The Serbian player has emerged as one of the most important pieces of the Fire’s offense this season. Since joining the club on Feb. 6, Katai has scored eight goals in 18 league matches, tying forward Nemanja Nikolić for the most on the team. Katai also has three assists in 2018.
The 27-year-old’s biggest game of the year came against New York City FC last month when he scored two goals to lead the Fire to 3-2 victory. His production this season in the MLS has been much more significant than it was in 23 matches with Alavés, where Katai only tallied three goals and four assists.
His transfer fee is unknown but, according to Sam Stejskal of MLSsoccer.com, he will be a “Targeted Allocation Money player” for the rest of this season and will not be a Designated Player until 2019. Whatever the official price was, acquiring Katai for a lengthier amount of time seemed like a must.
Throughout this season, the Fire were rumored to be in talks with legendary Spanish striker Fernando Torres. On Tuesday, he signed with Sagan Tosu, a Japanese club. The Fire signed Katai the next day, showing that the team was possibly waiting for Torres to leave the market.
Chicago will face the Philadelphia Union Wednesday night at Toyota Park, where Katai will look to continue his impressive season.
Chicago Fire defender Johan Kappelhof was involved in a car accident on his way to practice Thursday morning that sent him to the hospital with minor injuries.
According to authorities and the Secretary of State’s Office, a box truck crashed into the Dutch player’s 2013 Volkswagen and another vehicle in the 5900 block of South Harlem. Kappelhof’s vehicle rolled over and two people fled from the scene.
The driver ran on foot and the passenger moved into the driver’s seat before driving the truck onto the Stevenson Expressway after the crash, officials said. After the damaged vehicle broke down, police say the same passenger tried to jump into the Illinois and Michigan Canal. Both were taken into custody.
Team officials said Kappelhof was treated and released from the hospital without indicators of a concussion. The 27-year-old was reportedly seen at Toyota Park after the crash and did not have any serious injuries. The other driver who was hit by the box truck was also treated, police said.
This season in league play with the Fire, Kappelhof has three assists in 16 games. The international product was a 2017 MLS All-Star and the Defensive Player of the Year for the Fire last season. He was signed in 2016 and has made one MLS Cup Playoffs appearance.