TORONTO, Canada—Toronto FC fans received some worrying news Friday afternoon.
#TFCLive Greg Vanney says Jozy Altidore (Grade 2 hamstring) will be out roughly four-to-five weeks.— Michael Singh (@MichaelSingh94) October 9, 2020
Head coach Greg Vanney confirmed that striker Jozy Altidore suffered a Grade 2 hamstring injury against the Columbus Crew SC on Sept. 27 in a 3-1 come-from-behind win and will be sidelined for the next four to five weeks. Vanney added that the timeline was a moving timeline, meaning that it could be sooner, or, it could be longer.
That’s particularly concerning with the MLS Cup Playoffs right around the corner. The postseason is scheduled to begin on November 20 meaning Altidore has about six weeks to not only get healthy, but return to match fitness (let alone form).
The news comes on the heels of what has been a disappointing 2020 thus far for the highly-paid Designated Player. He has only two goals in 13 appearances and has struggled to consistently stay on the field. It’s clear that the challenges of having to navigate through a global pandemic have been particularly difficult for Altidore. Here’s to hoping that he gets to spend his rehab at home with family and that it does him well. Because if it does? Look out in the postseason.
In Altidore’s absence, 20 year old Ayo Akinola has taken a stranglehold of the No. 9 position, most notably scoring the lone goal in The Reds’ 1-0 win over the New England Revolution Wednesday. Akinola has eight goals in as many starts and will likely get the opportunity to add his impressive stat line come Sunday.
On a different note, captain Michael Bradley is ever so close to making his return from a Grade 2 knee strain. The 33-year-old midfielder missed the past seven matches and is just getting past some final hurdles, according to Vanney. While I don’t expect Bradley to play a role on Sunday vs. the lowly FC Cincinnati, I do anticipate him being available moving forward after that.