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Atlanta United’s Chris McCann to miss 3 weeks with leg injury

September 19, 2018; San Jose, CA, USA; Atlanta United midfielder Chris McCann (16) during the first half against the San Jose Earthquakes at Avaya Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta United FC will be without some defensive depth as it begins its playoff run. The club announced Friday that Chris McCann will “miss approximately three weeks with a left quad strain.”

McCann suffered the injury during Atlanta’s regular-season finale loss at Toronto FC last Sunday. He left the match in the 28th minute and was relieved by Greg Garza.

A 31-year-old Irishman, McCann has battled injuries at various points this season. He missed nine games from May 5 through July 4.

When he’s been healthy, McCann has mostly started, being included in the lineup in 21 of the 22 games he’s played in this season, typically at left back or centerback. He has also played as a defensive midfielder.

McCann saw more playing time this season than he likely would have had the squad been completely healthy. When Greg Garza had shoulder surgery in May, McCann was typically Atlanta coach Gerardo Martino’s first choice to replace him. Injuries to Mikey Ambrose and Sal Zizzo made McCann the only option at times, but youngster George Bello also played left back later in the season.

In 45 appearances with the Five Stripes across two seasons, McCann has started 30 games and tallied one goal and two assists. The lone goal of his MLS career came April 15, during a 2-2 draw for Atlanta vs. NYCFC. McCann also helped create a goal in Atlanta’s 2-1 win over the Chicago Fire Oct. 21, delivering a low, hard cross that ended up being an own-goal. The victory secured a spot for Atlanta in the Concacaf Champions League.

Before joining Atlanta United, McCann played in England for Burnley, Wigan Athletic and Coventry City. He has one cap for the Republic of Ireland national team.

Atlanta United begins its playoff campaign Sunday, facing NYCFC at 7:30 p.m. ET at Yankee Stadium.

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