Chivas USA defender Walter Vilchez sidelined with knee injury 4-6 weeks

Vilchez: Won't be tackling for the next several weeks. - USA TODAY Sports

A player who has acquitted himself well so far will be out for a little while.

According to Blair Angulo over at MLSsoccer.com, Chivas USA defender Walter Vilchez has a sprained MCL and sprained ankle and will be out an estimated 4-6 weeks. Vilchez sustained the injury at the end of Chivas USA's 3-1 win over FC Dallas Sunday, and while Dallas fans complained at the time that he was milking the injury to waste time, as he initially refused to roll his body all the way out of play, it seems he really was hurt.

Vilchez started the first two matches for Chivas USA, and had an assist in the Dallas game on Juan Agudelo's goal. Although it is early days in the 2013 season, he looked to be a strong defender in Jose Luis Sanchez Sola's more-or-less three-man backline so far this season, along with Mario de Luna. With Vilchez out of the picture, expect to see Joaquin Velazquez remain in the starting lineup, despite looking like the shakiest defender so far, alongside de Luna and Bobby Burling. If Chelís opts to play a fourth defender somewhere on the field, like he did last week with Burling, it is unclear who will step in, although my first guess might be Steve Purdy. Still, we will have to see.

A note on Vilchez's injury: sprained MCLs heal at varying paces, so 4-6 weeks is probably the most optimistic estimate. If we give it four weeks from about now, the first game he might be ready for would be April 13 against the Colorado Rapids at home, but again, that is probably the best case scenario. It is possible it could take him many more weeks to be back in shape. Still, get well soon Walter!

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