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Alex Callens out with MCL injury, no timetable for return

The anchor of the NYCFC defense was injured in loss to Columbus Crew, could be out for 30 days

Syndication: The Columbus Dispatch
Soccer is a contact sport.
Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK

Earlier today, New York City FC interim head coach Nick Cushing confirmed that center back Alex callers suffered a medial collateral ligament (MCL) injury in Saturday’s loss to Columbus Crew.

“It’s a knee issue, it’s his MCL,” Cushing was quoted as saying in a release issued by the club. “He’s with the medical team now and he won’t be ready for Miami, but he’s in great spirits. I went in the gym this morning and he’s working away, he’s happy, so I’m leaving him with the medical team and we’ll just get regular updates on him. Apart from that everyone else is healthy.”

NYCFC hasn’t made public the severity of the injury, or a timeframe for Callens to return to the Senior Team.

The MCL is one of the ligaments that stabilize the knee joint that runs along the inside of the leg. According to a study published by the National Institute of Heath titled “Return-to-Play Times and Player Performance After Medial Collateral Ligament Injury in Elite-Level European Soccer Players,” the median recovery time was 33 days for injuries classified as “moderate to severe.” Of the athletes studied, 71% returned immediately to pre-injury performance levels, while midfielders took longer to fully recover.

Callens was subbed off in the 73rd minute of the game against Columbus after striker Cucho Hernandez collided with his knee and rolled his leg while going for a header. Two minutes later, Columbus playmaker Lucas Zelarayán scored the winning goal.

The injury to Callens further depletes a thinning squad that didn't add any players during the summer transfer window.