SANDY — The recovery process for Real Salt Lake striker Alvaro Saborio is underway.
RSL team doctor Andrew Cooper performed successful surgery on Saborio’s broken left foot on Monday afternoon at the Salt Lake Regional Medical Center, and informed RSL general manager Garth Lagerwey afterward that the time frame for a return to the field is still three to four months.
“There was basically no downside to surgery because it’s not a bone that heals very quickly to begin with and if you do the surgery you make it stable so the player can have a long-term healthy career,” said Lagerwey.
Saborio broke the fifth metatarsal in his left foot in Costa Rica last week as he prepared for the World Cup.
Despite the surgery, Lagerwey said Saborio is expected to rejoin the Costa Rican national team in Brazil next week to support his teammates.
A three-to-four month time frame means Saborio could be back on the field as early as September and perhaps October. RSL plays four matches in September and four more in October before the playoffs begin in late-October.
Because of Saborio’s World Cup commitments, RSL always knew it would be without the striker this June. Lagerwey is confident RSL can endure an even longer absence from Saborio, who is tied with teammate Joao Plata with six goals this season.
“Last year Sabo had 17 starts, which means there were 17 games he didn’t start —including some playoff games he missed — and the other forwards were able to get it done and certainly they were able to get it done because we distributed the load over everybody,” said Lagerwey.
“Whenever a player of that caliber goes down, whether it’s (Javier) Morales or Saborio, it’s very difficult to replace them, borderline impossible. But the way you overcome it is through committee as a team. Do I think the group is capable of overcoming the absence? I do.”
It will obviously be easier once Kyle Beckerman returns from the World Cup and Robbie Findley and Plata return to full strength.
For the time being, RSL will hope for a quick rebound at Columbus this Wednesday after suffering its first loss of the season last weekend in Seattle.