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Eryk Williamson suffers torn ACL, will miss remainder of 2023 season
To pile on the misery in what has been a miserable start to the season, the standout Timbers midfielders has suffered another significant knee injury.
What it rains, it pours for the Portland Timbers. And I’m not talking about them scoring.
The team announced today that midfielder Eryk Williamson has suffered a torn ACL in his right knee, and will undergo reconstructive surgery on Wednesday, April 12. Williamson will be out for the remainder of the 2023 season.
This is the second such knee injury Williamson has suffered in his Timbers tenure. He suffered a torn ACL in his left knee in 2021 in a game against the Seattle Sounders at Lumen Field. This injury is to his right knee, and similarly will keep him out for an extended period of time — which will include the remainder of Portland’s 2023 campaign.
“Eryk is an extremely important component within the team who was performing at a high level again, making it difficult news to accept,” Timbers general manager Ned Grabavoy said of the news of Williamson’s injury. “We will support Eryk both on and off the field during his recovery process, and we are confident that he will make a full recovery in reestablishing himself within the team again next season.”
In a season where large swaths of the roster have been unavailable due to injury or other reasons, Williamson has been one of the more consistent presences on the field. A lockdown starter next to Diego Chara in central midfield, he started every Timbers game up until last week, and showed real signs of regaining the strong form he showed in 2020 and 2021. He currently leads the team in assists, registering two assists in six games played this year.
Williamson was unexpectedly listed on the injury report prior to Portland’s game last weekend at Vancouver. At the time, Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese said that Williamson experienced some pain during Portland’s game at Dallas on April 1, but was able to play through it.
According to reports given by Grabavoy to Ryan Clarke of The Oregonian/OregonLive, that pain was a precursor to something worse. Grabavoy explained to Clarke that in monitoring Williamson’s knee after the Dallas game, it started to become clear that it might be a more serious injury.
The news today unfortunately confirms those fears.
The recovery timeline for a torn ACL is roughly nine months, which puts Williamson’s return to the Timbers in the early part of January next year, when Portland will be in preseason preparations for the 2024 season.
However until then, and for the rest of a campaign that is already off to a rocky start, a Timbers side that has already been ravaged by injuries will be looking for ways to cope in the midfield. With the Sounders coming to town on Saturday for a key rivalry game, Portland has little time to figure that out.
And for a player who already came back from a major injury setback not two full years ago, he will unfortunately have to do it once again. But if we learned anything about Williamson when he did it the first time, it’s that you shouldn’t bet against him.
You can read the full press release from the Timbers on Williamson’s injury here.