TORONTO – Star winger Lorenzo Insigne, who hobbled in Toronto FC’s first game of the season, is set to miss the next three or four games after aggravating a groin injury.
The MLS club said Insigne trained all last week but suffered “a setback” on Friday, with a follow-up scan over the weekend showing worsening in his groin.
The 31-year-old Italian hasn’t played since February 25, when he came off in the 34th minute of the season-opening 3-2 loss to DC United.
Insigne was running after the ball when he suddenly stopped, clutching his groin while raising an arm to tell the Toronto bench he had a problem. He returned briefly after treatment but soon left for good, holding his head in his hands as he sat on the bench.
Insigne has been listed as questionable for both matches since but hasn’t dressed.
After Saturday’s 1-1 draw with the visiting Columbus Crew, Toronto coach Bob Bradley said Insigne continued to feel discomfort.
“He always feels something with certain actions and we want to be very careful with that,” Bradley said.
The star winger is the highest paid player in the league with a salary of $14 million last season. He has six goals and two assists in 12 league appearances since joining the team midway through last season from Italy’s Napoli.
Along with fellow Italian Federico Bernardeschi, Insigne is a key cog in Toronto’s attack. Bernardeschi was the fourth-highest-paid player in the league last season at US$6,256,325, although his salary like Insigne’s was reportedly pro-rated due to his late arrival.
The TFC were also without the injured Adama Diomande and Ayo Akinola this weekend. Fullback Raoul Petretta was released early with a lower body problem.
Toronto (0-1-2) hosts Inter Miami (2-1-0) on Saturday. Games in San Jose (March 25), vs. Charlotte (April 1) and Nashville (April 8) follow.
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This report from The Canadian Press was first published on March 14, 2023