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Vancouver Whitecaps' goalkeeper Joe Cannon, top, checks on injured teammate Jay DeMerit who had to be carried off the field during the first half of an MLS soccer game against Toronto FC in Vancouver, B.C., on Saturday March 2, 2013.DARRYL DYCK/The Canadian Press

Vancouver Whitecaps captain Jay DeMerit will miss most of the balance of the MLS season after undergoing surgery Monday to repair a torn Achilles tendon.

DeMerit was injured early in Vancouver's season-opening 1-0 win over Toronto FC on Saturday. He went up for a header, landed awkwardly and was helped off the field by trainers.

The team initially described the injury as a left calf strain. But coach Martin Rennie confirmed after a practice that DeMerit, who is in his third year with the Whitecaps, tore his Achilles.

Rennie said DeMerit will be out for "quite a long time." Some reports have indicated his recovery will take six to eight months, but Rennie said the club will not know the time frame until it learns the results of the surgery. The MLS season ends in November.

DeMerit, a 33-year-old Green Bay, Wis., native, had been bothered by Achilles tendinitis in recent weeks and at times last season. The central defender is in his third year with the Whitecaps and has served as captain for their entire MLS existence.

Rennie said he has a couple of options when it comes to choosing a temporary captain. The coach will decide whether to give one player the captain's armband or rotate it among players.

DeMerit posted a picture on Twitter of himself in hospital and said he was "super bummed out," but staying positive.