Wednesday Kickoff: Frei out up to 6 months, Ibrahimovic livid at refs & more

Wednesday Kickoff: Frei out up to 6 months, Ibrahimovic livid at refs & more

European Soccer

Wednesday Kickoff: Frei out up to 6 months, Ibrahimovic livid at refs & more

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Frei (Reuters Pictures)

The road to recovery just got increasingly longer for Toronto FC goalkeeper Stefan Frei.

Toronto FC announced that Frei will be out 4-to-6 months after undergoing surgery for torn ligaments in his left ankle. The club originally had said that Frei would miss 10 weeks with a broken left fibula, which he suffered during a non-contact play in training.

The injury has turned out to be much more serious, with Frei tearing the ligaments in addition to breaking his leg, and as a result, the rest of his season is in jeopardy. Milos Kocic will be the club's starter for the long haul with Frei on the shelf.

Presently, former UCLA and current league pool goalkeeper Brian Rowe is the only backup at TFC's disposal, and the club figures to hit the market prior to the April 15 closing of the transfer window in order to sign sufficient cover for Kocic.  

Here are a few more stories to get your day going:

IBRAHIMOVIC FUMES AT OFFICIATING

AC Milan was ousted from the UEFA Champions League in Barcelona on Tuesday, falling 3-1. The Serie A leaders momentarily had an advantage after Zlatan Ibrahimovic played Antonio Nocerino in on goal, but that edge was short-lived when the hosts drew their second penalty of the first half — one that Lionel Messi converted and one that has Ibrahmovic fuming.

"I'm just disgusted," Ibrahmovic told reporters. "They are the best team in the world, but at 1-1 and, playing with intelligence, you can do something. [But] I understand better why Mourinho gets upset every time he plays here – in my opinion it was not fair."

The second penalty came after Alessandro Nesta was whistled for pulling Sergio Busquets' shirt in the lead-up to a corner kick.

"The ball wasn't in play and he called it," Ibrahimovic said. "It was weird, odd, it ruined the game. I still don't understand what he whistled. If he calls those he should call the others. Without him the game would have been 50-50."

GOMEZ SIGNS NEW BAYERN DEAL

Bayern Munich has locked up one of their most dynamic assets for the foreseeable future, extending the contract of striker Mario Gomez through the 2015-2016 season.

The word comes on the heels of the club being on the verge of extending Arjen Robben, as Bayern Munich looks to maintain its foundation going forward. After getting past Marseille in the Champions League quarterfinals, Bayern is facing a likely semifinal date with Real Madrid as the final hurdle to reaching the final, which will be played at their own Allianz Arena.

As for Gomez, a 26-year-old German international, he has scored 37 goals in all competitions this season. His 11 goals in Champions League play are second only to Messi, as he enjoys perhaps his finest season since joining Bayern from Stuttgart in 2009. His current contract was set to expire at the end of next season.

FORMER REAL MADRID GREAT DIES

Jose Maria Zarraga, a former Real Madrid captain and standout who helped lead the club to five straight European Cups, passed away Tuesday. He was 81.

Zarraga, a midfielder, played for Madrid from 1949-1962 and scored 96 goals in 306 games during his career, which also included six Spanish league titles.

The club will honor Zarraga's memory with a moment of silence prior to Wednesday's Champions League quarterfinal second leg against APOEL Nicosia. Madrid players will also wear black armbands in his honor.

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Do you think TFC is settled in goal even without Frei? Does Ibrahimovic have a point? Where do you rate Gomez among the top strikers in Europe?

Share your thoughts below.

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