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LA Galaxy defender Jorge Villafaña won’t play in 2022

Lingering knee injury puts player on the shelf for the year.

MLS: LA Galaxy at Colorado Rapids Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Bad news for LA Galaxy defender Jorge Villafaña, who has yet to play for the club in the 2022 season after undergoing a minor knee surgery in the spring. His ongoing injury has not improved as hoped, and so the player has officially been placed on the season-ending injury list.

Villafaña initially dealt with the problem last season, as the workhorse left back was slowed down the homestretch and missed basically the final six weeks of the season.

Head coach Greg Vanney shed more light on Villafaña’s situation after Sunday’s 1-0 win by the Galaxy at Austin FC.

“First, my heart goes out to Jorge [Villafaña]. He has battled and battled and battled to try to get over this knee contusion, is what he picked up last year. He kind of hyper-extended the knee and ended up in a contusion that he struggled to get back from all year last year. We went in at the beginning – not we, but the docs – went in at the offseason to take a look at the situation just to see what all we were dealing with, because he just wasn’t healing. He was still having pain and couldn’t really get power out of that leg. And they saw some cartilage issue. And so, we tried to go, and Jorge wanted to go, the least invasive timeframe route to see if that could be the solution. So, after having that surgery, he pushed for two to three months to see if that could be the solution. But, once he started to accelerate or do things at any kind of speed, he just wasn’t getting over the hill. So, that became the point where he spoke to the doctors again, and the doc said the solution to this is to have a little bit of the more invasive, if you will, surgery, to try to correct it. It’s better for Jorge’s career if he does that sooner rather than later and try to get himself right and get back and continue on in his career. But I feel for him. Because the kid has battled every single day to try to be with his team and to help the team out. So, that all kind of transpired.”

Villafaña going to the season-ending injury list means he cannot play in a game for the Galaxy this year, so the surgery he’ll be getting or has recently gotten can take place and he can take his time to recover and rehab, to hopefully get right for 2023. The Galaxy using that roster designation on him also opened up a roster slot for this season.

It also explains why LA traded for Chase Gasper at the transfer window deadline last week. With Gasper as a defense-first left back and Raheem Edwards as an offensive-minded left back, with Villafaña currently unavailable Vanney has a couple strong options at the position for the time being.

Best wishes to Jorge on his injury journey and hope he’s back to healthy again before long.

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