The Columbus Crew midfield has been without one of the team’s quiet stars for the last couple of months and it will now be even longer. Central midfielder Artur will miss 10-12 weeks after he underwent successful sports hernia repair surgery to “address ongoing issues related to a previously diagnosed sports hernia,” the team announced. The procedure was done Wednesday by Dr. Richard Cattey at Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital in Mequon, Wisconsin.
Artur originally had surgery this offseason to help fix an ongoing hip/sports hernia issue. The 25-year-old Brazilian returned for the preseason before starting the year in the midfield for the Black & Gold. Artur came off the bench against Real Esteli in the CONCACAF Champions League Round of 16 first leg, playing 30 minutes, before starting in the second leg and playing 45 minutes.
The midfielder then started the next two games, going 90 minutes against CF Monterrey in the Champions League and in the Major League Soccer season opener against the Philadelphia Union. While continuing to recover from the hip surgery, which continued to cause him pain, Artur was managed carefully, coming off the bench against CF Montreal, starting and playing 56 minutes against Monterrey and 90 minutes against D.C. United.
After missing the trip to Florida to face Toronto FC in MLS play, Artur started three straight games against the New England Revolution, New York City FC and Toronto at home, but did not play more than 78 minutes in any of those games.
The 2-1 win against Toronto at home on May 29 was Artur’s last appearance for Columbus. Following the game, the decision was made to allow him to rest in order to get him back to 100 percent after he battled through pain during his first six games of the MLS season.
With Artur and second-year Homegrown player Aidan Morris, who tore his ACL in the second game of the year in the Champions League, both out the Crew added young Canadian international Liam Fraser on a season-long loan deal from Toronto. He was brought in to compete with veteran Perry Kitchen, who was acquired in the offseason.
With Kitchen out with an injury and Fraser away with the Canadian National Team at the Gold Cup, the Black & Gold experimented with Marlon Hairston as a central midfielder. After being brought over in the offseason to provide depth behind Harrison Afful at right back, Hairston fit back into a position he played in the past nearly seamlessly and has given Columbus the closest thing to Artur in the center of the field.
These three, along with starter Darlington Nagbe, will need to continue their level of play for the next several weeks with Artur remaining out. Kitchen recently left Crew training on crutches after taking a knock during practice. No update has been given on how much time he will miss.