Toronto FC and U.S. men’s national team midfielder Michael Bradley will have ankle surgery on Tuesday and could miss several months, according to general manager Ali Curtis.
Speaking to reporters on Monday on the first day of preseason training, Curtis said Bradley sustained the ankle injury during the MLS Cup Final against the Seattle Sounders. Curtis said the injury was “severe” and that surgery was the last resort.
The club thought Bradley could rehab from the injury, but it was decided Bradley would need surgery, according to The Athletic’s Joshua Kloke. He could miss up to four months, according to Curtis.
Toronto forward Jozy Altidore did not mince words when asked how the club handled Bradley’s injury.
“Make no mistake. In my opinion, for me, it was handled poorly,” he told reporters.
Coach Greg Vanney also told reporters he does not plan on changing his formation in the wake of Bradley’s injury.
The injury is a blow to both Toronto and the USMNT. Bradley could miss more than half of the MLS regular season and a handful of international friendlies.
Bradley, 32, recently signed a contract extension after his previous deal expired following the 2019 season. Toronto signed its captain to a new deal using Targeted Allocation Money (TAM).
“Michael Bradley has led this club in the biggest games we’ve played in during his time at Toronto FC and is our engine,” Toronto FC President Bill Manning said following the deal. “Michael and his family have made Toronto their home and we are all very happy that they will continue to be part of our club for years to come.”
Bradley has spent the last six seasons with Toronto. He played in 27 games last season, making 26 starts scoring three goals and providing three assists.
Toronto opens the 2020 MLS season against the San Jose Earthquakes on Feb. 29.