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Olivier Mbaizo undergoes surgery on knee, out up to eight weeks

21-year-old right back has two starts and three appearances this season

Photo by Heather Barry

A torn meniscus is expected to keep Philadelphia Union right back Olivier Mbaizo on the sidelines for four to eight weeks, head coach Jim Curtin said during a scrum with media on Tuesday.

Curtin said the 21-year-old defender from Cameroon was scheduled to undergo knee surgery for a tear in his meniscus on Tuesday.

“Unlucky for the kid who every time we seem to get him going he has a little bit of a setback with an injury,” Curtin said. “It’s part of the game but at the same time difficult to lose him because he was starting to make some real strides forward.”

Mbaizo being out leaves the Union thin at the right back position going into a busy stretch with four games in 11 days.

Midfielder Warren Creavalle would ordinarily be the third string right back but he was injured preparing for the Gold Cup with Guyana, which leaves only Ray Gaddis as a right back on the roster if you don’t count Alejandro Bedoya (Bedoya has shifted to right back at times this season late in the second half).

MLS veteran R.J. Allen was in training with the Union on Tuesday. The 29-year-old from New Jersey played 76 games with Orlando City and New York City FC and has spent the summer playing for FC Motown in the NPSL.

Marco Fabián was fully training with the team on Tuesday. Curtin said he plans to use the Mexico international in the upcoming stretch of games but didn’t give any details. Fabián was sent home after reporting El Tri camp prior to the Gold Cup because he hadn’t fully recovered from an ankle injury.