ACL surgery ends Hendry Thomas’s season in Dallas

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Ten games into his first season in Frisco, Tex., Hendry Thomas’s year is done. According to FC Dallas, the former Honduran international will miss six to eight months after undergoing Monday surgery to correct a torn left anterior cruciate ligament.

Thomas said last week that his season was likely over, but with today’s surgery, that status has been confirmed. After an operation FC Dallas described as “successful,” the team will be without its best defensive midfielder until the 2015 preseason.

Acquired this offseason from Colorado, Thomas had made 10 MLS appearance with before suffering injury on July 9. The 29-year-old had played 770 league minutes for his new club, with injury and suspension limiting him to nine starts.

Without him, head coach Oscar Pareja’s left reliant on veteran Adam Moffat and 22-year-old Michael Ulloa – the duo that started Saturday’s game against the New England Revolution. Michel, Andrew Jacobson, and Peter Luccin are also options in a central midfield that could soon undergo a change. With Mauro Díaz return into the team, Pareja’s midfield duo my no longer be asked to make up the space between themselves and two forwards.

That’s why the timing of Thomas’s injury is unfortunate; at least, it’s unfortunate for Dallas fans hoping some semblance of a full team could start soon. Key players like Díaz, Thomas, Fabián Castillo (suspension), and George John (injured all season) have experienced prolonged absences. All the while, Dallas has maintained its spot in the West’s top five.

Up to second after Saturday’s win, Dallas is now getting players back. Díaz, still recovering from his own knee injury, played 26 minutes against New England. Castillo has one match left on his four-game ban. Though there’s no indication when John’s knee injury will allow him to return, Pareja’s team was inching closer to something resembling a best XI.

Now that standard needs to be reevaluated. While many have implicitly removed John from the FC Dallas equation, they can explicitly do so now.

After following Pareja south this winter, Thomas’s season’s been cut short. It will be up to Moffat and company to protect that John-less defense.