Darwin Ceren will miss more than just Orlando City's upcoming match the Montreal Impact on Saturday -- a lot more.
According to WFTV reporter Christian Bruey, Ceren is expected to miss the next five to six weeks due to a high ankle sprain suffered in the Lions' 2-1 loss at Sporting Kansas City on Sunday.
Darwin Ceren will be out 5-6 weeks with an ankle sprain. Big blow for @OrlandoCitySC and an already struggling D pic.twitter.com/lcXMYK4Wt4— Christian Bruey (@CBrueyWFTV) May 18, 2016
Ceren left the game in the 86th minute after a dangerous tackle from SKC's Nuno Coelho brought him down to the ground in pain, where he was carried off the field on a stretcher minutes later. Coelho only saw a yellow card for the tackle, but easily could have been given a harsher punishment at the time.
Ceren's injury is undoubtedly a big loss for a team that's already struggling to impose itself as a good defending team. Both he and Cristian Higuita had created one of the most efficient defensive midfield duos in MLS. Ceren was voted Orlando City's Player of the Year by his teammates last season and won 2015 MLS Latino del Ano, before signing a new contract extension with the club during the off-season.
While it's hard to predict just how Adrian Heath plans to fill his absence over the next month or so, the easiest bet would be putting Antonio Nocerino back into the defensive midfield next to Higuita, where he's spent most of his career. That would give Orlando the same attacking presence from Nocerino that we saw from Ceren, while letting Higuita stay back to play his normal game in holding down the midfield. The club could also revert to last year's formation of choice, the 4-2-3-1, with Higuita and Servando Carrasco holding the defensive midfield.
Luckily for Orlando City, however, MLS will be taking a two-week break at the start of June for the Copa America this summer, and the Lions only have five games between now and the end of June, meaning Ceren could only end up missing three to five games at the very least.
At any rate, the Lions will have to spend the several weeks holding on without one of the best players on their roster.