Bright Dike just cannot cut a break.
Having finally established himself as Portland Timbers’ main striker following the departure of Kris Boyd, he was looking forward to a season of regular starts in MLS.
Sadly, his dreams have been foiled by injury again in pre-season. He will miss six months following a successful surgery on his left knee to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and medial collateral ligament (MCL) in addition to undergoing a successful lateral meniscectomy, a club release said.
He sustained the injury in the Timbers’ preseason match against Seattle Sounders FC on Feb. 5.
Dike, 26, was one of the Timbers’ leading scorers in 2012, recording five goals in 12 games over the final half of the campaign. Additionally, he managed five goals in five appearances with the Timbers Reserves last season.
Dike, who has family ties to Nigeria, recently earned his first two caps with the Nigeria National Team, scoring his first international goal in a friendly against the Catalonia National Team on Jan. 2 but was surprisingly omitted from the their squad for he African Cup of Nations finals tournament in South Africa.
Dike struggled to find minutes in 2012 having missed much of the Timbers inaugural year in MLS following a ruptured Achilles, also sustained in a Timbers preseason game on February 4, 2011.
His absence leaves the Timbers front line looking slightly devoid of physical power with current strikers listed being Sebastián Rincón, Jose Valencia, Danny Mwanga and Ryan Johnson. Brent Richards is also out for six months following surgery on his own left knee.
Yesterday midfielder Eric Alexander was traded for allocation money. That money may need to be spent sooner rather than later unless Caleb Porter has faith in an inexperienced set of forwards.