Orlando City is in Atlanta today to face rival Atlanta United this afternoon but will have to compete without its star designated player. Jordan Culver of ProSoccerUSA.com reports that Nani has suffered calf inflammation and did not travel with the team.
According to the report:
Nani is day-to-day and the team hopes to have him ready for its Wednesday match against the Seattle Sounders, a club spokesman confirmed.
While Nani has played in each of the Lions’ 10 games this season, both Atlanta and Seattle play on turf, a surface that Orlando City has yet to appear on this season. Some star players in MLS decide to skip games played on turf as it’s a less-than-ideal surface to play on. There’s no indication that is the case with Nani but, injured or not, it’s unclear whether the Portuguese star will make the Seattle trip as well.
The 32-year-old attacker has been the most potent offensive weapon for the Lions this season, leading the team in goals, with five, and assists, with four. He scored five goals during a four-game goal streak heading into last week’s game with Toronto FC and is the only Lion to score since April 6. Beyond that, he’s the club’s best possession player and he’ll be missed against an Atlanta team adept at turning over the opposition and creating chances on the counter.
The injury comes at a bad time for Orlando City (3-4-3, 12 points) as the team sits in 10th place in the Eastern Conference and looks to climb back over the red line in a weekend when nearly all of teams it’s in contention with have gained points.
The Lions are scheduled to play three games in eight days — and four in 13 — starting today, as they face FC Cincinnati at home next Sunday following trips to Atlanta and Seattle. The LA Galaxy visit Orlando City Stadium just five days later.