More bad news comes for Columbus Crew defender Gaston Sauro, who simply can’t seem to stay healthy for a defense that could desperately use him.
Sauro will miss the entirety of the 2017 season after while recovering from multiple knee surgeries, Crew manager and sporting director Gregg Berhalter told The Columbus Dispatch. The news is just the latest in an injury-filled saga in MLS for Sauro, who has appeared in just 17 regular season matches over two seasons since joining the Crew from FC Basel in mid-2015.
“It’s going to be a number of surgeries he’s going to get and he’s going to be out for the year,” Berhalter stated. “That’s our reality. It’s a tough reality, but that’s the way it is.”
“He has a guaranteed contract we are obligated to fulfill,” he continued. “That’s life . . . We have to work on how we can structure or restructure his contract.”
Sauro was the Crew’s second-highest earner in 2016, with a cap hit of $601,313, but was left unprotected in last week’s expansion draft, likely as a result of these surgeries. While the Crew have added some defensive help this offseason in the form of Nicolai Naess and new homegrown signing Alex Crognale, of the University of Maryland, the departure of captain Michael Parkhurst has left the back line lacking.
Sauro was expected to be a key part of the Crew defense in 2017, likely alongside new signings referenced by Berhalter, after guiding the Crew to the MLS Cup Final in 2015, where they lost to the Portland Timbers. This news casts his future with the team in doubt, as the 26 year old Argentine appears to have a long road to recovery ahead of him.