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Tony Beltran undergoes two knee surgeries, out for nine months

MLS: Real Salt Lake at Colorado Rapids Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

Tony Beltran’s 2018 season is already mostly done for after he underwent two knee surgeries, both of which were reconstructive — one for his right LCL and one for his right ACL.

That’s set to keep him out of contention for nine months, Real Salt Lake is estimating. That’s a very substantial period for the veteran, and it might throw RSL general manager Craig Waibel’s plans into a bit of disarray.

From the press release:

“Because it was a multi-ligament reconstruction, we staged him in his procedures,” Dr. Cooper said, anticipating a nine-month recovery time. “He should do great. This is a real injury and if anyone will do the work to get fully recovered, it’s Tony.”

RSL Academy graduate Aaron Herrera, who’s been a consistent figure with U.S. youth teams, is widely expected to join the team this offseason, but it’s hard to see him immediately stepping into a starting spot for the first team. Demar Phillips has been re-signed to a new contract, and there remains a possibility that Chris Wingert could return, too, but both, one would imagine, would be best-served in backup roles.

Beltran’s recovery time puts him in contention in September, at which point, we’re hoping RSL is well clear of the playoff battle, sitting 10 to 15 points clear in first place. Time will tell.