Lukas MacNaughton undergoes surgery, out with “long-term injury”

NASHVILLE, TN – Nashville SC head coach Gary Smith gave an update on defender Lukas MacNaughton during Thursday’s matchday minus two media availability.

The center back went off injured in the 51st minute in last Saturday’s 3-1 loss to Inter Miami CF, appearing to get his left leg stuck underneath him during a challenge. He was stretchered off after receiving extensive treatment, with Smith saying post-match that initial reports were that nothing was broken, but he needed x-rays and more assessment upon returning home.

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It appears now that the injury is close to a worst-case scenario for MacNaughton.

“Lukas underwent surgery on Tuesday. Without going into too much detail, it ended up being a pretty difficult situation for him physically as you can imagine if he’s going into surgery,” Smith told reporters. “The time frame is a difficult one to work out at this point, but it’s going to be a reasonably long -term injury with Lucas.”

MacNaughton is the latest in a string of injuries to first-choice players for Nashville this year. The Canadian international has played a crucial role for Nashville during the start of their season, with Walker Zimmerman missing eight of their first twelve matches injured and Jack Maher falling out of favor. Zimmerman is back in training and set to feature against San Jose on Saturday, but losing MacNaughton means that Smith will be without his preferred center-back pairing for the foreseeable future.

Without MacNaughton, Jack Maher is the most obvious replacement. Maher has been a starting option for Nashville for the last several seasons, and was the preferred partner for Zimmerman until late last season. Josh Bauer has started the last three matches for Nashville, apparently passing Maher on the depth chart, and could continue to play next to Zimmerman. Brent Kallman is the final healthy center back on Nashville’s senior roster, signed as a depth option before the season.

Nashville SC take on San Jose Earthquakes at Geodis Park on Saturday. They’ve taken just seven points from their first eight matches, making Saturday’s match a vital one for their season.

Author: Ben Wrightis the Director of Soccer Content and a Senior MLS Contributor for Broadway Sports covering Nashville SC and the US National Team. Previously Ben was the editor and a founder of Speedway Soccer, where he has covered Nashville SC and their time in USL before journeying to Major League Soccer since 2018. Raised in Louisville, KY Ben grew up playing before a knee injury ended his competitive career. When he is not talking soccer he is probably producing music, drinking coffee or hanging out with his wife and kids. Mastodon

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