It seems like Stefan Frei just cannot catch a break when it comes to his health in recent years. Having missed large chunks of the last two seasons (all but one game last year) he is now set to be sidelined again early in 2013. The good news, the club confirmed that the starting keeper has only suffered a broken nose and will have surgery to repair the damage in Orlando on Tuesday and should not miss that much time.
#TFC training update 1/2: Stefan Frei suffered a broken nose during Saturday's game, will require surgery to reset it.— Toronto FC (@torontofc) February 11, 2013
#TFC training update 2/2: Frei's surgery will take place in Orlando on Tuesday.— Toronto FC (@torontofc) February 11, 2013
The broken nose was probably one of the better outcomes, besides a clean bill of health, that the keeper could have been handed after taking a knock to the face when he was contesting for a ball outside the books against Columbus Crew's Ryan Finley. The other options would all have ensured a lengthy spell on the sidelines had he suffered a fracture to one of his facial bones or the worst case scenario, a concussion.
In interviews following the game Frei was certainly not happy with the officiating during that first match of the preseason pointing to a number of challenges in the first half that went without punishment. In an interview on the club's website he does well to tow the line and not slam the ref but you can tell that he was quite frustrated that the the official was more concerned with keeping things 11v11 than he seemed to be with protecting the players.
For now, it looks like Frei will take part in light training while the club works to set a timeline on his return to action. He could be back between the posts in no time and we may yet get to see him rocking one of those always stylish masks. If he does miss any stretch of time it will provide a big chance for Joe Bendik to show what he has to offer during the preseason. He was solid after replacing Frei against Columbus but now his minutes might just drastically increase the rest of the Disney tournament.