Jordan Morris will return to the United States to prepare for the surgery, which will be performed by the same doctor who repaired his torn ACL in 2018. Dr. Bert Mandelbaum operates in Santa Monica, California. Morris tore his left anterior cruciate ligament on Saturday while on loan to championship Swansea City.
“First of all, we have been in contact with Jordan and he has our full support during this difficult time for him and his family,” said Sounders FC general manager and soccer president Garth Lagerwey in a team statement. “It is important to us that you receive the best possible care, as well as the most comfortable environment to recover.
“Having been through this before in 2018, seeing Jordan sustain another injury of this nature makes it equally devastating and hopeful. We know firsthand the resilience of his character and we look forward to the day when he steps back onto the football field. In the meantime, we are focused on welcoming him home and making sure he has the full support of our club. “
Assuming Morris will be on a similar timeline to his previous injury, it will likely take at least 6-9 months for him to return. In 2018, the Sounders and Morris were relatively conservative with their recovery and, although he was able to return to training before the end of the season, he spent a little over a year between competitive appearances.
In the meantime, the Sounders will have limited ability to replace Morris. They will get some relief from the salary cap by virtue of Swansea City paying Morris’s salary during the first half of the season. In addition to about half their salary that comes off the books, the Sounders also get back some of the allotted money that they would have otherwise had to spend. That will probably give them at least $ 500,000 in additional flexibility.
However, for better or for worse, that was money the Sounders already hoped to have and had said they would probably stop using it at least until a new athletic director was hired.
In theory, at least, the Sounders can receive additional relief by placing Morris on the season-ending injury list, the key provisions of which are:
- The injured player must be making at least $ 100,000 per year.
- The injured player must have suffered the end-of-season injury prior to the close of the Primary Transfer Window and the new player must be acquired on that date.
- The replacement player can earn up to $ 250,000 but not more than the player who suffered the season-ending injury.
- A credit in the amount of the replacement player charge will be applied to the player who sustained the Injury at the end of the season. The club will reimburse the League an amount equal to said credit.
- Clubs may only sign one such replacement player per season from the MLS League.
The only question would seem to be whether or not the Sounders can further reduce Morris’s maximum hit from his already reduced amount. Assuming they can, the extra cap space would be enough to sign an U-22 initiative player or an MLS veteran down the line of a Harry Shipp.
In 2018, the Sounders chose not to put Morris on the season-ending injury list, but the circumstances this time have some significant differences. The biggest difference is that Morris wasn’t a player on the senior roster last time, meaning there was very little salary cap or roster relief the Sounders were eligible to receive.
Still, the Sounders don’t need to rush to make a decision. The rules stipulate that they can wait until the close of the primary transfer window on June 1 to decide whether or not to place Morris on the season-ending disabled list, which should give them time to better evaluate the schedule for his return. . While unlikely, it is at least widely possible that Morris will return in late summer.