This week, Columbus Crew winger Luis Diaz was off on international duty with the Costa Rican National Team. A few days later, Diaz was back in Columbus after Costa Rica announced he suffered a knee injury, forcing him out of national team matches. Friday morning, Columbus head coach Caleb Porter gave an update on Diaz’s injury status as the team continues to train during the three-week international break.
“He came back and took a little knock to the knee,” said Porter. “It’s not serious but serious enough where he is not able to train right now. He might be out a week, maybe two but nothing more than that. A little bit of an MCL kind of light sprain.”
Diaz is currently in his fourth season with the Black & Gold, having made 10 starts in 11 games in both MLS and the CONCACAF Champions League. The winger scored his first goal in two years in last Saturday’s 2-1 win against Toronto FC on a 60-yard breakaway. His lone assists of the 2021 season came in the Crew’s first game on April 8 against Real Esteli in Nicaragua in the Champions League Round of 16.
Costa Rica played Thursday night in the CONCACAF Nations League semifinals in Denver. Los Ticos held Mexico to a 0-0 draw over 90 minutes and lost the tie-breaking penalty shootout 5-4 to miss out on the Nations League Final. Costa Rica will play Honduras in the third-place match on Sunday and take on the United States in a friendly on June 9 to conclude this international break.
While Diaz is dealing with his knee knock, the rest of the Crew players are continuing the road to getting healthy. Porter also provided an update on the status of winger Kevin Molino, midfielder Perry Kitchen, and left backs Milton Valenzuela and Waylon Francis.
“Kevin is getting there. He’s been training the last couple of days which is exciting,” said Porter. “He hasn’t done the full training but he’s done partials. We are hoping he can maybe play a role (against the Chicago Fire on June 19), that might be too soon. We’ll be smart obviously with it. Milton and Perry are probably a couple of weeks away. Waylon, we should have back hopefully by Chicago.”
The Crew players in Ohio will continue to train with the squad moving into the new OhioHealth Performance Center next week. Four Black & Gold players are currently on international duty with Eloy Room (Curacao), Liam Fraser (Canada), Derrick Etienne Jr. (Haiti), and Alex Matan (Romania Under-23) all ready for their first games of the break on Saturday.
The Crew return to play on June 19 in the final-ever game at historic Crew Stadium against the Fire. The match has the potential to have a full capacity crowd, the first for a home match since March of 2020.