By Sheila Dwyer, Knee1 Staff
The United States soccer team suffered a major setback last Wednesday when Chris Mathis, 24, tore his right anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)
during practice the day before.
On Thursday, the US team played an exhibition game at Crew Stadium without Mathis. “This injury is kind of tough to deal with,” Mathis said in a statement. “It’s part of the game. It was kind of a freak thing, but it’s a situation where I’ll go out and get the surgery and work hard to get back.”
Mathis suspected an ACL tear before the team doctors diagnosed him. “I pretty much knew right away that if I didn’t tear it, I did something to it,” he told the AP. “I kind of landed on it off-balance.”
Mathis, considered one of the US team’s most valuable players, will miss the rest the rest of the MLS season with his team, the New York/New Jersey MetroStars, and World Cup qualifying. He tore his left ACL six years ago during his second year at University of South Carolina.
The Anterior Cruciate Ligament, or ACL, attaches the femur, or thighbone, to the tibia, or shinbone. Three other ligaments, the Posterior (back) Cruciate, Medial (inside) Collateral
, and lateral collateral ligaments
help to stabilize the knee, but the ACL maintains most of the front-to-back stability of the knee.
A sprain to the ligament may mean a minor tear, in which case the ACL can be rehabilitated back to health. A tear, however, practically eliminates the athletic stability of the joint, and most often requires surgical repair. To read more about the ACL, click here
Photo courtesy of Major League Soccer