Columbus Crew SC defender Harrison Afful suffered a fractured jaw in last weekend’s 2-0 win over Atlanta United FC and will be reevaluated following a period of four-to-five weeks.
“Harry has a fractured jaw. As you know with fractured jaws, they wire your jaw shut, so they’ll have his jaw wired shut for a period of four to five weeks, and then from there, it’ll be a matter of his fitness and nutrition," said head coach Caleb Porter.
While Porter said he doesn't have a "clear timeline" on Afful's return to play following the initial four to five weeks, he believes Hector Jimenez will slot in at rightback and spoke on what the veteran has brought to the Club this season.
“You never like to lose a quality player like him from your team, but that’s why we have a squad and it opens up an opportunity for Hector [Jimenez] and we are very confident in Hector and comfortable with him, so we’ll have to manage this four to five weeks and then several weeks after that without Harry.
“With Hector, he’s played minutes and one of our best games, I thought, was Cincinnati and Hector was in the rightback position in that game - if you guys remember in preseason - and he’s come in and been really good off the bench. I thought in that game, last game obviously, a good majority of it was tough with the conditions, but I thought he stepped right in and I thought we didn’t miss a beat," added Porter.
"I don’t replace players. We don’t replace Harry, but Hector’s been in the wings waiting and ready and we’re confident in his ability to step in and get the job done for us and that’s why we have a squad and I preach that on a daily basis.”
Up next, Columbus continues its homestand against the New England Revolution on Saturday, April 6 at 7:30 p.m. ET at MAPFRE Stadium.