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Gastón Brugman becomes latest injury blow for LA Galaxy

The Uruguayan midfielder will miss the rest of 2023 after suffering a knee injury, joining Javier Hernandez and Martín Cáceres on the sideline.

Gastón Brugman suffers major knee injury
Gary A. VasquezUSA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

Midfielder Gastón Brugman will miss the remainder of this MLS season as the injury woes continue for LA Galaxy.

The 30-year-old picked up a knee injury in the Galaxy’s recent Leagues Cup fixture against Liga MX side Club León. Brugman has undergone surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee and, despite the procedure going well, will be out until the end of 2023.

Brugman has been a regular in midfield since moving from Parma last summer, impressing alongside Riqui Puig and Mark Delgado in the middle of the pitch. The injury was a freak occurrence, something that Galaxay head coach Gregg Vanney was sustained in a “non-contact kind of moment” against León.

“Unfortunately, we lose an important player in a situation that isn’t much of a situation,” Vanney explained.

“It’s one of these scenarios where for sure in the short-term it’s just the next guy has to step in and fulfil the responsibilities of the position, but in the way that that player plays the position,” the Galaxy head coach continued.

“He doesn’t need to be Gastón, he doesn’t need to do anything other than just be himself and trust the system and trust what we’re doing.”

Brugman joins Hernandez and Cáceres on the sideline

The 2023 season has not gone well for five-time MLS Cup winners LA Galaxy and they currently sit 13th, second from bottom, in the Western Conference. The team has undoubtedly underperformed but Vanney has been beset by major injuries to key players.

At the start of June Mexican forward Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez tore his ACL and is expected to be out for the remainder of the season. The former Real Madrid and Manchester United striker was the team’s most potent attacking threat and they have struggled for goals in his absence.

Se acaba la temporada para Chicharito por rotura de ligamento cruzado
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Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez picked up the injury in an Open Cup clash with Real Salt Lake.Getty Images

The loss of Hernandez was followed swiftly by another knee injury, this time to experienced defender Martín Cáceres. The 36-year-old, who played for the likes of Barcelona, Juventus and Sevilla in Europe, was also forced to undergo surgery after suffering an avulsion fracture to his left knee. He, too, is unlikely to feature again this season.

After their group stage exit in the Leagues Cup Galaxy fans may have hoped that the extra time on the training ground would spark a mid-season MLS revival. But with the team still seven points adrift of the playoffs and without three key players, the Galaxy still have a lot of work to do if they are to make it to the post season.