Welp, I guess the MRI didn’t go so well.
Orlando City striker Dom Dwyer left the MLS is Back bubble last week to get an MRI on his left knee. That scan apparently revealed an injury, which led to surgery to repair a torn patella tendon on Friday and, as a result, the striker will be sidelined for approximately four to six months for rehabilitation and recovery.
Team physician Dr. Daryl Osbahr, the Chief of Sports Medicine at Orlando Health, performed the surgery. The club announced today that the surgery was a success, but Dwyer’s future as a Lion now has to be viewed as questionable at best.
Dwyer, who turned 30 on Thursday, is in the final year of his contract, so it’s possible he’s played his last game as a Lion. One wouldn’t expect the club to bring him back at a Designated Player-level contract after the 2019 and 2020 seasons.
Dwyer struggled through a slump in 2019, providing just seven goals and four assists in 27 appearances. This came on the heels of a good 2018 campaign, when he put 13 balls in the net in 26 games.
The Cuckfield, England native played in the first two matches of the MLS is Back Tournament group stage, assisting on a Chris Mueller goal against New York City FC, but sat out the Philadelphia Union match after experiencing tightness in his quad. Dwyer reportedly returned to training in the middle of that week but was not in the lineup against the Montreal Impact and he left the MLS bubble the next day.
Tesho Akindele has started at striker in Dwyer’s absence, scoring the Lions’ game-winning goal in the 1-0 win over Montreal on July 25. Akindele was subbed off for Darryl Dike in each of the last two matches after the 70th minute but the rookie has not added much to the attack in his first two competitive professional games.
The Mane Land learned that the club has recently looked into adding a striker, but rumors of a move to Orlando by Leo Ramos of Liga MX side Leon appear to be nothing more than that. Our sources indicated that no discussions had been held with Leon or the striker about such a move, but Ramos was on Orlando City’s radar and so that move could still be possible at some point. It simply appears that Ramos is not the club’s priority target, unless something has changed in the last couple of weeks.
If there is a season beyond the current tournament, the Lions will no doubt want to add a proven striker.
As for Dwyer, this knee injury will do nothing but increase fans’ views of him as injury prone in recent years. In reality, he’s missed only three more matches than Atlanta’s Josef Martinez since 2017 and Martinez is also out for the rest of 2020.
It’s a tough break for Dwyer, who no doubt wanted to come back strong and prove his worth in 2020 after a subpar 2019 campaign. Now he’ll have to wait until 2021.