A MRI has revealed that Seattle Sounders center back Djimi Traore has suffered a torn adductor. There was no immediate timetable on his return, but judging by head coach Sigi Schmid's comments, it doesn't sound like they are counting on Traore playing anytime soon.
Schmid says Djimi Traore MRI showed adductor tear. He will be out "a while."— Don Ruiz (@donruiztnt) May 29, 2014
Adductor tears can take anywhere from six weeks to six months to heal, which leaves open the possibility that Traore is out for the year. If that's the case, the Sounders could place him on injured reserve and open up his roster spot, but not his salary-cap hit.
Traore suffered the injury during Saturday's game against the Vancouver Whitecaps and was removed almost immediately after making an awkward tackle that apparently caused the tear. Brad Evans was the initial replacement, playing about 20 minutes at center back before swapping spots with Jalil Anibaba and moving to right back.
In the short term, the Sounders have several options to replace Traore. Earlier this week, Schmid mentioned that Evans could play there, as well as Zach Scott or Anibaba. Andy Rose and Dylan Remick have also played the last two Reserve League games as center backs and could feasibly work their way into the rotation there.
All of this is further complicated by Chad Marshall's availability. The Sounders' top defensive player through the first 12 matches missed the Whitecaps match due to an undisclosed illness that was apparently bad enough that it caused him to lose about five pounds. Marshall was able to train on Thursday, but it's unclear if he'll be capable of playing 90 minutes as soon as Saturday against Real Salt Lake.
Longer term, this only serves to put even more impetus on the Sounders to find a solution outside of the current roster. Center back was already a position they were likely looking to add a player and the none of the solutions already in the team are ideal. Scott has looked solid in his past two appearances, but he's 33 and has always been considered more of a fallback solution. Evans showed some promise against the Whitecaps, but it's hard to imagine how his body would hold up as a full-time center back. Anibaba might off the highest upside on the roster and has looked better in his past couple appearances, albeit at right back.
Two players who are unlikely to be available are Eriq Zavaleta and Jimmy Ockford. Both players are on full-season loans and it's unlikely that the terms of those deals allow for an early recall.