Update 2: The Timbers have confirmed that Arokoyo will have surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles tendon and will miss the 2017 season.
Update: Jamie Goldberg has the specifics of Arokoyo’s injury.
I'm hearing Arokoyo likely has a ruptured Achilles tendon, pending final determination tomorrow. He is flying back to Portland #RCTID— Jamie Goldberg (@Jamiebgoldberg) January 31, 2017
The Portland Timbers are only seven days into their preseason, but the side may already have lost a player for the rest of the year following reports of a serious injury to center back Gbenga Arokoyo in training today.
On a conference call with the press this afternoon, Caleb Porter said that Arokoyo went down after a collision with another player in practice today and had picked up a “knock” that seemed to be an ankle or achilles injury, according to a report from the Oregonian. Arokoyo, Porter said, would require further evaluation to determine the extent of his injury.
Now the results seem to be in and, according to a report from Chris Rifer, Arokoyo could be out for the year.
I'm now hearing Arokoyo's injury is likely season-ending. PTFC will look to sign a starting-quality replacement. #RCTID https://t.co/29xn75K2qn— Chris Rifer (@ChrisRifer) January 31, 2017
This news is devastating for Arokoyo, who missed most of his time with the Timbers in 2016 due to a groin injury sustained with T2, as well as for the Timbers, who suddenly find themselves missing an expected starter on their back line.
The assumption coming into 2017 was that Arokoyo and Liam Ridgewell would form the Timbers’ first choice pairing at center back, with Roy Miller providing veteran depth and Rennico Clarke looking to prove himself as a young prospect. Now, however, the Timbers are going to need to lean on Clarke in the preseason and hope that the Jamaican youngster can step up at least until Miller arrives from Saprissa at the end of February or until they can bring in a new signing to fill out their now-depleted back line.
Finding another “starting-quality” player suddenly becomes a high priority for the Timbers now as the team continues to work on bringing in the designated player winger that they have been targeting all offseason.