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Montreal loses Piatti for another 8-12 weeks

New York Red Bulls v Montreal Impact

MONTREAL, QC - MARCH 12: Ignacio Piatti #10 of the Montreal Impact runs during the warmup prior to the MLS game against the New York Red Bulls at the Olympic Stadium on March 12, 2016 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The Montreal Impact defeated the New York Red Bulls 3-0. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

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Montreal’s lofty hopes just took a major hit, with annual Player of the Season candidate Ignacio Piatti lost for 8-12 weeks with a ligament injury.

Piatti, 34, has scored 75 goals for the Impact since arriving from San Lorenzo in 2014, chipping in 34 assists to boot. He scored 16 or more goals in each of the previous three seasons, including a 16+11 campaign last year.

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He scored thrice in the club’s first three matches this season before a knee injury cost him the next 10. He returned for two matches before this current flare-up.

The Impact have dealt with Piatti’s absence well, sitting two points back of East-leading DC United. They have a seven-point lead on eight-place Toronto FC, who have played three less matches.

Saphir Taidir becomes even more in-focus for Montreal during Piatti’s absence, though getting him back for the stretch run would be a nice boon for Remi Garde.

Follow @NicholasMendola