After a nasty-looking injury took him out 14th minute of Southampton’s 2-0 win over Burnley this past weekend, the club has confirmed that Fraser Forster will miss the rest of the season after surgery.
The 27-year-old goalkeeper went under the knife to repair a damaged patellar tendon in his left knee, but the club did not specify the extent of the damage in their release beyond confirming that surgery was required.
The team’s release also would not speculate on if he would return for the start of next season or not, just saying, “A longer-term prediction of when Forster will return to action will be made following further assessment once the effects of his operation have settled down.” The Guardian speculates he could be out for as long as the entire 2015 calendar year.
Patellar tendon injuries can vary greatly in severity. Hugo Lloris, who went down with a nasty gash just minutes before Forster did in Spurs’ 4-3 win over Leicester City, also had patellar tendon damage but is expected to return in a week or two. Meanwhile, New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz tore his patellar tendon completely off the bone this past NFL season and missed the remainder of the season, with some speculating the injury could render him a changed athlete for the worse. Many injury experts would tab a full tear of the patellar tendon as worse than a torn ACL in terms of athlete recovery, on par with microfracture surgery, throwing careers into jeopardy.
Southampton now has another long-term injury to deal with, just as Jay Rodriguez is looking to come back into the squad in the near future. Saints purchased Forster from Scottish side Celtic over the summer, and sent incumbent Artur Boruc on a season-long loan to Bournemouth in the Championship where he has stood out. The starter, for now, becomes Kelvin Davis who looked good in his substitute appearance against Burnley.
This now gives young American Cody Cropper a chance to get a look at the first team, and he could make the bench if he beats out Paul Gazzaniga for the new opening.