Toronto FC's injury concerns grew Tuesday with news that Canadian international fullback Richie Laryea will be out for three months following hamstring surgery.

The MLS club says Laryea will undergo surgery Saturday in London, England, with Fares Haddad, a hip and knee reconstructive surgeon at University College Hospitals, doing the procedure.

Former Toronto captain Michael Bradley also underwent hamstring surgery in London last May but his procedure was performed by Ernest Schilders, considered a world-leading expert in adductor and groin problems in athletes.

Laryea who returned to TFC in February in a transfer from England's Nottingham Forest, has played just one game this season. He lasted 70 minutes in the season-opening scoreless draw at FC Cincinnati.

A pacey fullback/wingback who is a handful for defenders, Laryea was being counted on to play a big part in the offence of head coach John Herdman, who favours the flanks when it comes to tactics.

News of the surgery came as a surprise. Herdman suggested Thursday that Laryea was dealing with a hamstring strain that would keep him out another three weeks

“A real shame,” said Herdman. “But he's a quick healer. The medical team will say three weeks. I think it might be a little bit quicker.”

The 29-year-old Laryea has won 48 caps for Canada and saw action in all three games at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar under Herdman, then Canada coach.

Toronto was also without the injured Sean Johnson, Jonathan Osorio, Brandon Servania, Nicksoen Gomis and Raoul Petretta for Saturday's 2-1 loss at New York City FC.

Laryea left Toronto for Nottingham Forest in January 2022. He returned to Toronto in August 2022 on a loan deal through June 2023. When that loan expired, he joined Vancouver on loan in early August and made a combined 14 appearances across all competitions for the Whitecaps.

Before his move to England, Laryea played three seasons (2019, 2020 and 2021) with Toronto after signing with the club as a free agent in March 2019. His career was revived in Toronto with then-coach Greg Vanney converting the midfielder to fullback.

Laryea was originally selected by Orlando City SC in the first round (seventh overall) of the 2016 MLS SuperDraft.

Toronto (2-1-1) hosts Atlanta United (2-1-0) on Saturday.


This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 19, 2024