In a case of lightning striking twice it looks as though forward Bright Dike will miss the entire MLS season and the World Cup. This is a staggering blow for Dike who'd worked his way back from an ACL injury just last year, as well as a previous Achilles injury back in 2011.
It all started when Dike tweeted this earlier today:
Worst day of my life— Bright Dike (@bbright19) February 17, 2014
Speculation and concern ran rampant among the TFC (and Timbers) faithful:
@bbright19 Really sorry to hear that. Hope whatever it is gets sorted. :(— Stephanie Gunther (@StephGunther) February 17, 2014
@bbright19 hoping you're well, Bright, from your PTFC family— Leo T (@leo2za) February 17, 2014
@bbright19 hope everything's ok!— Rob Ditta (@RobDitta) February 17, 2014
And then Goal.com reported what most of us had been fearing; an injury. And not just any injury but a torn Achilles. Just typing that makes me wince; I've a personal history with knee issues but nothing like this young player has faced. And really, could it have come at a worse time? TFC is ascending, there's world class players on board from which he can learn and play with, and of course he's favoured to be chosen for Nigeria's World Cup squad. However all of that seems lost at the moment. We've no word from the club on the seriousness (or confirmation) of his injury, but I think the tweet speaks for itself.
So what does this mean for Toronto? While not exactly paper thin up top, there was a number of us that were looking forward to seeing Dike crash his way to the net, be a target for kicks and hold up the ball as a foil to the smaller, more mobile Jermain Defoe and Gilberto. While not generally intended to be a starter, he was seen as a viable first man off the bench or as a capable partner to either Defoe or Gilberto depending on tactics.
Is this now Andrew Wiedeman's big moment? Is Emery Welshman no longer Wilmington bound? Or is there another as of yet to be revealed option in the works? Regardless of other options this is the first significant speed bump in what has been an otherwise smooth drive through the off season for the Tims and Ryan Nelsen. Hopefully it will be the only one.