After Portland Timbers midfielder Dairon Asprilla had a procedure in May in his left knee to repair a complex tear in his medial meniscus, his season was thought to be done.
But Wednesday evening, Asprilla made his return to the pitch after a better-than-expected recovery allowed him to play again this season.
And it could not have happened at a better time for the Portland Timbers.
"Having Asprilla back is great for us and it comes at a perfect moment," said head coach Giovanni Savarese following Wednesday's match.
With offensive forces Sebastiàn Blanco and Jaroslaw Niezgoda out for the season due to torn ACLs, Asprilla will be counted on to give Portland good minutes in the offensive third of the field.
"We don't have Niezgoda, Seba... [Ebobisse] is recovering. We are down some players there that are very, very important," said Savarese. "Hopefully, Jebo will be ready for next game."
Jeremy Ebobisse has missed the Timbers last three games due to a concussion but the Timbers head coach seems optimstic he can return soon.
"We wish that we had everybody healthy. We have the chance to recover some players and [have them] be able to come back, especially in the way that Asprilla has done it. It's always exciting and now even more... like today."
In six seasons with the Timbers, Asprilla has appeared in 114 matches (59 starts), tallying 13 goals and 12 assists across all competitions.
But he has shined in the postseason, in particular.
In 14 career postseason games, Asprilla has four goals and four assists, averaging nearly either a goal or assist every 90 minutes of postseason play.
Now, he will have to recreate that magic for Portland if the club wants to win its second MLS Cup title in franchise history.
But first, the Timbers travel to the City of Angels to play LAFC during Decision Day on Sunday, November 8th, 2020 at 3:30 p.m. PT.