After Andy Craven had to be helped off the pitch after a collision with Charlie Lyon in practice Thursday, it was unlikely the forward would be available for Saturday's match against the Colorado Rapids. That was confirmed today when Sigi Schmid announced that Craven had suffered an MCL strain and projected a three to four week recovery time.
This is bad news for the 23-year-old striker, who signed with the Sounders from S2 just a few weeks ago as depth at forward. This is a stretch of games where he had a chance to make an impression with some playing time. It also puts the Sounders in a bit of a bind this weekend as they look for their missing offense, with Obafemi Martins and Clint Dempsey still unavailable and Marco Pappa likely only coming off the bench.
Schmid hinted clearly that he was thinking about shaking things up at forward after the team's performance against the Chicago Fire, and Craven was a likely candidate for getting a shot after seeing substitute minutes. Now, Schmid's options at forward (if he were to bench Chad Barrett and/or Lamar Neagle) are Victor Mansaray and Darwin Jones.
The earliest match Craven might be available for would be the August 9th game against LA Galaxy, at which point Martins and Dempsey should both be back on the pitch.