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Toronto FC's growing injury list is impacting Canada with a groin injury that has sidelined Osorio

Toronto FC's growing injury list is impacting Canada with a groin injury that has sidelined Osorio

Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press

Published Sunday, March 17, 2024 at 10:47 PM EST

Last updated Sunday, March 17, 2024 at 10:47 PM EST

A hip injury has prevented Toronto captain Jonathan Osorio from joining Canada for next Saturday's Copa America qualifier against Trinidad and Tobago.

The veteran midfielder was replaced by FC Dallas midfielder Liam Fraser.

The loss of Osorio is a blow to interim coach Mauro Bello. With 71 caps, the 31-year-old Osorio is the oldest player – and the only one over the age of 30 – on Canada's roster, as well as a candidate to captain the team.

Given the need for a “cultural reset” within the national team, Bellew called up a 23-strong youth roster that included 10 players with fewer than 10 caps.

CF Montreal midfielder Samuel Petit is the top man on the list now, with 67 caps. Forward Kyle Larin has 65.

The 26-year-old Fraser has 19 caps, making his last appearance for Canada as a substitute in a 2-2 draw with the United States in the CONCACAF Gold Cup in July in Cincinnati.

A hip injury prevented Osorio from traveling to New York for Toronto's 2-1 loss Saturday at New York City.

“He sprained his ankle on Thursday and then had a little sore hip again,” Toronto coach John Herdman said after the game. “So just one thing tends to lead to another.”

He added that Osorio was tested on Friday “and it didn't feel right.”

“For Uso, it was really precautionary,” Herdman said. “It wasn’t good for him to leave.” “A big loss for us in that sense.”

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The 50th-ranked Canadian men face No. 96 Trinidad at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. The winner will advance to Group A alongside top-ranked Argentina, No. 33 Peru and No. 42 Chile in the 16-team Copa America tournament that begins June 20 in 14 cities in the United States.

Osorio is just one of a growing number of sick Toronto players.

Defender Raul Petretta (groin) was another late addition to an injury list that already included goalkeeper Sean Johnson (hamstring), defenders Richie Larrea (hamstring) and Nexuen Gomes (wrist), and midfielder Brandon Servania (knee).

Cervania is not expected to return until the summer as he recovers from knee surgery. Gomez, back from a concussion, had surgery last week after it was discovered that he had damaged the scaphoid bone that fell off his wrist in last week's home opener against Charlotte.

“It's a really tough bone in the wrist,” Herdman said. “So you have to get it right. Normally you would throw that in and get it out, but it's a really tough bone.”

Gomez is expected to be out of action for four weeks.

Petritta was sidelined after a hip aggravation led to a tear in the adductor muscle, Herdman said.

He is expected to miss “about two to three weeks, and perhaps four weeks maximum.” Laria, who missed three matches, is likely to be out for several weeks.

Johnson, who has missed TFC's last two games, is expected to return soon. But reserve Luca Gavran has been impressive in his absence.

“Again, we adjust and we manage and he should be the next guy up,” Herdman said. “So the players who come in, they have an opportunity and they have to take it.”

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Toronto (2-1-1) will host Atlanta United (2-1-0) next Saturday.

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