Toronto FC's off-season woes continued Wednesday, when star midfielder Julian de Guzman revealed he has a knee injury that will sideline him for an unspecified period.
"I had been playing on a damaged meniscus for two months until the last game of the season, it finally shredded and needed surgery," the 29-year-old said from his home in Spain.
At this point, it is uncertain how long de Guzman will be out. TFC officials did not respond to requests for comment on Wednesday.
On Thursday, the Major League Soccer club's new management team will be announced at a news conference. It is expected that former Dutch international Aron Winter will be confirmed as the new head coach and technical director. Former New England Revolution assistant Paul Mariner is also set to join the front office as general manager.
Winter may be forced to start his first training camp at the helm next month without the club's lone designated player, de Guzman. The Toronto-born midfielder - the first Canadian to play in Spain's La Liga before joining the MLS side on a three-year deal in August of 2009 - was hounded by injuries last year, and missed several games midway through the season due to a recurring hamstring injury.
De Guzman was roundly criticized by fans and members of the media for his exorbitant salary and lacklustre effort while the team began a freefall in the MLS standings and failed to make the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season.
Speculation swirled about de Guzman's future with the club after it left him unprotected for the MLS expansion draft on Nov. 23, while his knee injury remained concealed.
"I'm not fit enough to play right now, I'm just doing rehab and spending my holidays with my family," he said.
De Guzman spent the Christmas holidays in Mallorca with his younger brother, Jonathan, a midfielder with Spanish club Real Mallorca and member of the Netherlands' national soccer program.