According to LA Times Soccer Writer, Kevin Baxter, the LA Galaxy have confirmed that midfielder Jermaine Jones suffered a Grade 2 MCL Tear/Sprain to his right knee in the 38th minute of the team’s 2-2 draw with the Chicago Fire on Saturday night.
#LA Galaxy's Jermaine Jones has a grade 2 MCL strain an MRI revealed, according to the club
— Kevin Baxter (@kbaxter11) May 8, 2017
Jones, who has started and played in all but one game this year — amassing over 670 minutes of playing time — was chasing a ball into the Fire’s side of the field. Fire Midfielder João Meira got to the ball first and cleared the ball forward. The clearance struck Jones, who was just yards away, in the head and sent him crashing into the ground awkwardly. His fall looks to have been the cause of the injury, and from replays, Jones seems to have fallen almost limp after the ball strikes him.
Jones walked under his own power to the far sideline and returned to the match before asking to come out of the game in the 43rd minute. He was replaced by Emmanuel Boateng.
At the time of his substitution, the Galaxy were losing 2-0 and being thoroughly outplayed in the midfield. Boateng’s presence on the field along with a shift in formation could be largely responsible for their success in the second half.
Jones is no stranger to long-term injuries. He played in only nine regular season games for the Colorado Rapids last year. Some of that was due to a six-game suspension he earned in his final game with the New England Revolution. But the rest of it was due to a 14-week recovery from an LCL sprain he suffered during a game.
According to many different websites, a Grade 2 MCL sprain/tear could take anywhere from 3 to 12 weeks to recover from. Although, let’s be clear, the recovery times fluctuate wildly and will depend on if there is any other damage to the knee. The Galaxy have officially said to expect Jones back in 3 to 4 weeks.
But that does leave a large portion of money sidelined with this injury. According to the MLS Players Union, Jones is scheduled to receive $722,500 in guaranteed compensation for 2017. That’s a raise of $72,500 from his limited minutes with the Rapids from the previous year.
It’s not unreasonable to question the business sense in signing a player who wasn’t readily available for his team in the previous year due to injury. And it’s also not unreasonable to question the same decision when you know that player is 35-years old and nearing the end of his soccer life cycle.
That being said, the injury to Jones seemed more of “freak” in nature than age related. But older muscles, bones, and ligaments do take longer to mend. No one should expect a quick recovery.
However, the Galaxy have looked okay with Baggio Husidic in the midfield. Husidic has played next to João Pedro in the last two games and both of them have had some success together – more so than can be said for the Jones and Pedro pairings that have been heavily criticized from the start of the season.
The Galaxy are also without midfielder Sebastian Lletget who suffered a Lisfranc Injury to his left foot back in March of this year, and Robbie Rogers who had ankle surgery in the offseason. Lletget continues to recover from his surgery and is still months away from returning, while Rogers is out indefinitely with a loss of feeling to his foot.
Even Gyasi Zardes missed the beginning of this season with an injury and is only now getting back to full fitness and form.
The Galaxy will travel to New York to take on the Red Bulls on Saturday night. That game can be found on FS1 at 3 PM Pacific Time.
- 5.9.2017 (8:15 AM) updated the article to reflect the wide range of recovery times for an MCL sprain.