D.C. United midfielder Russell Canouse, who was held out of Sunday’s match because of a sprained knee ligament, likely will miss two games this week, club officials said Monday.
Canouse was a late-game substitute April 13 at Colorado and wasn’t in uniform for Sunday’s 2-0 defeat to New York City in Washington.
Canouse first experienced problems with the medial collateral ligament a few weeks ago.
He will not play Wednesday at Columbus and seems unlikely to play Sunday at Minnesota. The team is targeting him to return May 4 against Columbus at Audi Field.
“For this weekend, you never know how he responds,” Coach Ben Olsen said. “The [medical] images weren’t that alarming. He has always had these knee things. It’s kind of strange."
Canouse missed the first four months of the 2018 season with problems related to the lateral collateral ligament in the other knee. His return coincided with Wayne Rooney’s arrival and helped United turn around its season and qualify for the playoffs.
Canouse, 23, started the last 17 regular season matches in 2018 and the first six this year, partnering primarily with Junior Moreno in a two-man defensive midfield alignment.
Chris Durkin, 19, started the past two matches and is almost certain to remain in the lineup for the games this week. Last weekend in Colorado, Durkin scored his first MLS goal.
Meantime, left back-midfielder Chris McCann is making steady progress in a return from a strained hamstring and could rejoin the game-day roster soon. He participated in full workouts Monday.
Joseph Mora, the player McCann replaced in the lineup, has resumed exercising after undergoing surgery early this month for a broken jaw. The wires keeping his mouth mostly closed are due for removal next week. He probably will not return to game-day duty until June.
Given United’s injury situation, homegrown rookies Donovan Pines and Griffin Yow, 16, are expected to accompany the team to Columbus. Both made their MLS debuts in the past 10 days.
With the club traveling to Minneapolis from Columbus on Thursday, Olsen might bring more than the usual 18 players on the trip.
>> Yow and Bryang Kayo, a midfielder in United’s youth academy, were named to the U.S. under-17 national team ahead of the U-17 World Cup qualifying tournament May 1-16 in Bradenton, Fla.
Yow’s role with United this week seems likely to delay his arrival at U-17 training camp.
>> United officials are working on bringing four French clubs to Audi Field this summer for a preseason tournament. One of those teams would likely play United in a friendly, as well. The identity of the clubs was not revealed and it is unclear how close United is to finalizing the tournament and friendly.
United will face Real Betis in a May 22 friendly at Audi Field and is aiming to arrange a home friendly late in the season against a Latin American opponent.