Trinidad and Tobago head coach Stephen Hart has expressed regret over Kevin Molino’s injury sustained during a friendly encounter for Orlando City against Brazilian side Ponte Preta on Saturday evening.
Molino suffered a torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) and has been ruled out for the remainder of the American Major League Soccer (MLS) season and will miss this country’s 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup campaign.
Dr Mario John, a Trinidadian orthopeadic surgeon based in Orlando is in touch with Molino and the Orlando City medical staff and will monitor the player’s progress as he prepares for surgery in just over a week. John relayed that the goal is to restore the player’s range of motion and get the swelling down in order to have the best possible outcome from the surgery. John will continue to keep Hart and the TTFA updated on Molino’s status.
Hart, while admitting Molino’s absence will be somewhat of a blow to the Soca Warriors heading into the Gold Cup in July and the 2018 World Cup qualifiers in November, added that the player’s health was of utmost importance at this time.
“This is extremely sad for Kevin. This is always difficult for a young player now attempting to establish his career. I wish him the very best and a full recovery,” Hart said.
“The Gold Cup is less important than his ability to return to the game at the most appropriate time,” Hart added.
Molino said yesterday that he was coping with the disappointment but will remain focussed on making a full recovery.
“It’s devastating but this is the game. I’ve known players who’ve had serious knee injuries before like Carlos (Edwards), Kenwyne (Jones), Cornell (Glen) and most recently Robert Primus and they came back from it. By the grace of God, hopefully I will be back and be able to continue my career and push on to becoming the player I’ve been aiming to be,” Molino said.
The MLS official site stated “Molino went down after 16 minutes, clutching his right knee. The 24-year-old Trinidadian international has one assist in seven games this year, but is among the league leaders in chances created and has been an ever-present in the Orlando City lineup since the team moved there from Austin in 2011. He is a two-time USL MVP, winning the award in 2012 and 2014."