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Diego Valeri off to surgery; Portland’s midfield wonder has ACL tear

Portland Timbers against the San Jose Earthquakes

Portland Timbers midfielder Diego Valeri (8) leaps in celebration after he scored his second goal as the Timbers beat the San Jose Earthquakes, 3-0 in MLS soccer on Oct. 8, 2014 at Providence Park in Portland. (AP Photo/The Oregonian, Randy L. Rasmussen)


Portland Timbers star Diego Valeri will both be off his feet for a while after undergoing postseason surgery.

The 28-year-old Argentine playmaker tore his ACL early in Portland’s regular season finale, a 2-0 win over FC Dallas. The Timbers failed to qualify for the playoffs following Kendall Waston’s heroics for Vancouver against Colorado.

That means that, arguably, Portland’s two best players are on the shelf for a long time. Valeri will miss at least five months, while Canadian midfielder Will Johnson might return around the same time after suffering a horrific leg break.

[ MLS: Playoff predictions/preview | Season-ending awards ] reports that Valeri suffered the injury in the 26th minute but played on until halftime against Dallas, which is incredible. The good (??) news for the Timbers is that if they did make the playoffs, they’d now be playing without Johnson and Valeri.

The bad news is that the ACL injury at 28 is a tough one for someone as dynamic as Valeri. Portland head coach Caleb Porter is going to earn his money this offseason preparing for 2015.

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