TORONTO - Apparently the season doesn't even have to be in progress for Toronto FC to suffer a loss.
The team has taken a considerable blow without even stepping on the pitch, losing promising winger Nicholas Lindsay for at least a season after he suffered a “serious knee injury during the off-season,” the club said Tuesday.
He will undergo surgery on Wednesday and will also have to have a second surgery in four-to-six months.
Lindsay, just 18, is a Brampton native who became the second Toronto FC Academy player to make the senior team when he signed with TFC in mid-September.
Lindsay’s speed and offensive instincts quickly made him a player to watch going forward — especially since the organization has glaringly lacked creative attackers throughout its history, homegrown or otherwise.
Lindsay notched three assists in just four league games with the Reds so his departure will be a considerable setback.
“Nicholas made huge strides in the short time he has been with the team and has a bright future ahead of him,” Earl Cochrane, director of team and player operations, said in a release.
“We will support him with everything he needs to make a full recovery.”
While the hope is he will be able to return for the 2012 campaign, ex-Red O’Brian White went from being the top player in the NCAA to an ineffective MLS player and shadow of his former self after ripping up his knee during his senior season at the University of Connecticut and Lindsay’s injuries appear to be even worse.
Not surprisingly, given the veil of secrecy that has surrounded the club this off-season, TFC would not provide any details on how Lindsay suffered the injury — never a good sign.
The organization has made itself look a tad foolish by not being forthcoming in the past, but continues to be evasive.
This is the second year in a row Toronto has lost one of its top prospects.
Defender Zach Herold, just 17, TFC’s second-round selection in 2010, had to retire before even suiting up, due to a heart condition.