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March 20, 2012 at 12:41 PM

Mauro Rosales ruled out for Friday, could be out weeks with a sprained right knee

rosales mug 2012.jpgBad news out of Sounders FC camp today.

Midfielder Mauro Rosales sprained his right knee late in Saturday’s 3-1 win against Toronto FC and won’t play Friday against Houston, according to coach Sigi Schmid. Rosales missed the end of last season with a sprained right knee, but Schmid said it’s not the same injury.

“We’ve just got to see how it responds,” the coach said. “It could be a couple weeks; it could be a little more.”

So who replaces Rosales? Schmid listed newcomer Christian Sivebaek and Roger Levesque as options. Defender Marc Burch also has experience as a midfielder and could play on the left, which would push Alvaro Fernandez over to Rosales’ spot on the right.

“There’s different ways we can look at it,” Schmid said.

And Seattle’s depth at midfield is little consolation.

“You don’t want to lose players at any time and certainly he’s a very important player to us because of the creative impulses he gives to the game,” said Schmid. “We’re going to miss that part of it and it puts a little more of a burden on the other guys.”

Here’s some reaction from teammates:

* * *

Fernandez (via interpreter): “Hearing that Mauro wasn’t going to be able to play in the next game was a bit of a news flash. We had that situation last season too when we played a game or two without Mauro and the team responded well, we played well and won some important games without him. We hope that we can make that happen this year as well.”

Jhon Kennedy Hurtado (via interpreter): “We know he’s a great player and unfortunately he’s injured. But we just have to take it in stride and hopefully another player will step up and can play the same role.”

Brad Evans: “I think we’ll be OK. Obviously he’s an important part of our team, but so is everybody else. If we rely on one player we’re going to find ourselves in a bad position throughout the season. It’s an extremely long season, even longer this year. To say that one player makes our team isn’t fair to the rest of us. Obviously we’ll fill that gap the best that we can and we’ll have to change the way we play also. We’ve been successful doing without starters in the past, so for us it’s just: fill the gap and do what we do.”

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