FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — American defender Omar Gonzalez tore a knee ligament during his first practice with Nuremberg of Germany’s Bundesliga and is returning to Los Angeles.
Nuremberg says Gonzalez tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in a tackle Thursday at the club’s training camp in Antalya, on the Turkish coast. He collided with American defender Timmy Chandler. The injury was confirmed by a scan in a Turkish hospital on Friday. He is expected to have an operation next week and will miss much if not all of the MLS season.
“Still in shock that this happened,” Gonzalez said Friday in a post on Twitter. “Your support and well wishes will carry me through a strong (and hopefully quick) recovery!”
Gonzalez had just joined Nuremberg’s camp Thursday on loan from Los Angeles Galaxy and was hoping to play in the Bundesliga during the Major League Soccer offseason.
“That’s really bitter for Omar,” said Martin Bender, Nuremberg’s chief operating officer. “He wanted to show us what he is capable of and we had great hopes for him. The important thing is for Omar to get healthy again. In the 24 hours he spent with us we got to know him as an interesting personality and player. We wish him all the best.”
The 23-year-old Gonzalez was voted the MLS defender of the year in 2011 and helped the Galaxy win the championship.