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Chivas USA's Stepanovic out with dislocated kneecap

September 25, 2009 |  3:20 pm


Chivas USA Coach Preki's fears have been realized -- he has lost yet another player to long-term injury.

Belgrade-born midfielder Bojan Stepanovic, 26, is expected to be sidelined for between four and eight weeks after dislocating his right kneecap in Wednesday night's friendly match against Chivas de Guadalajara at the Rose Bowl.

After the game, which ended in a 2-0 victory for the Mexican club on a pair of goals by Omar Arellano, Preki voiced his concern.

"The only bad thing for us is that we lost a player," he said. "Hopefully, we didn't lose him for a long time."

Subsequent tests revealed the extent of the injury to the Serbian player, who has appeared in 16 games for Chivas USA this season, starting seven, scoring one goal and assisting on two others. He will not require surgery and the team today expressed the hope that he would be back in time to take part in the MLS playoffs, should Chivas USA qualify.

Preki already has lost five players to season-ending injuries, and twice as many more to shorter-term injuries. Despite that, the team, which plays the New York Red Bulls in Carson on Saturday night, is still in playoff contention.

-- Grahame L. Jones

Photo: Bojan Stepanovic. Credit: Juan Miranda / Chivas USA