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Sebastian Giovinco ruled out of Toronto FC’s match against Vancouver Whitecaps

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The Atomic Ant has returned to Italy for a previously scheduled trip to see his personal doctor.

MLS: Toronto FC at Real Salt Lake Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto FC will attempt to record their first win of the season without Sebastian Giovinco against the Vancouver Whitecaps.

The Italian has been ruled out of the trip west with the leg contusion he suffered against the Philadelphia Union on Saturday. With no game scheduled next weekend due to the international break, he has flown back to Italy for a previously planned - and unrelated, according to Kurt Larson of the Sun - visit to see his personal doctor.

According to Larson the contusion is to the iliotibial band, the ligament that runs down the outside of the thigh from the hip to the shin. It’s a dead leg, basically, which is a minor injury but can be very painful and cause a more serious issue if not properly rested and healed.

MLS: Toronto FC at Real Salt Lake Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

It always seemed unlikely Giovinco would play on Saturday given his well-documented dislike of turf pitches and the injury risk he seems to feel they pose even when he is fully healthy. The fact that this trip back to Italy is not to address this latest injury is interesting, though, particularly in the context of the 30-year-old being well below his best in the opening two games of the season.

Tosaint Ricketts is most likely to draw in for Giovinco, particularly after impressing as his replacement against the Union. Greg Vanney also has the option, however, of playing Jonathan Osorio or Victor Vazquez just off Jozy Altidore or perhaps even going to a 3-4-3 similar to the one Chelsea have played this season.

The only other doubt for the Whitecaps game is Steven Beitashour, who continues to deal with what the club doesn’t seem to want to outright label a concussion but pretty clearly is. He missed training again on Tuesday but Chris Mavinga could be ready to make his first start after appearing as a substitute last weekend.

UPDATE: And as I type, John Molinaro confirms Beitashour is training individually today.