Japanese International and Vancouver Whitecaps striker Masato Kudo will be sidelined indefinitely after suffering a fractured jaw that will require surgery in a collision during a match, the Major League Soccer squad announced Thursday.
The talented forward, who celebrated his 26th birthday just last Friday, was injured in the 11th minute of Wednesday’s 2-1 triumph over Chicago at BC Place.
Kudo was making a run toward the goal when Fire goalkeeper Matt Lampson rushed out to grab the ball and slammed into Kudo, who had blood coming out of his mouth after biting his lip and tongue on the play. He lay on the turf for several minutes being treated with players from both teams watching before being taken off on a cart and sent to Vancouver General Hospital.
Lampson posted on popular social media website, Twitter via his handle:
“Apologies, well wishes and a speedy recovery to @masatokudo9.
“I hate to see injuries like that happen,” he added.
No timetable has been set for his return as the injury would need to be evealuated to know the situation at hand.
“He’s a massive part of this football club,” said Whitecaps coach Carl Robinson, a Welshman. “We’re right behind him.”
Kudo, in his first season with the Whitecaps, scored his first MLS goal last Saturday in a 2-1 victory over Portland. He equalized in the 60th minute and set up the game winner by Christian Bolanos in the 66th minute. The Tokyo-born standout spent seven years with Japan’s Kashiwa Reysol, scoring a club-record 91 goals in 247 appearances and helping them win the 2011 J-League crown. He also has two goals in four appearances for Japan’s national team. Fans were very horrified with the injury and have flooded his page with goodwill messages and hoping for his quick return.