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Impact fans can’t be surprised by Rivas’s injury plight

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Nelson Rivas
The Montreal Impact knew it was taking a major gamble when it signed Nelson Rivas before the start of the 2012 season. For the majority of the big Colombian defender’s European career, the words “unavailable” or “injured” often appeared next to his name.

And there’s a wisdom that exists about injury-prone players. They have a tendency to remain injury-prone. Hence the use of the word, “prone.”

So, we should not be surprised — nor should the Impact’s front office — that Rivas will miss the rest of the season, and need five months’ recovery time, after successful surgery was performed on him to repair a microfracture in his left knee.

Hamstrings. Bad knees. Collapsing at training sessions. These are the things that have dogged Rivas throughout his career. At Inter Milan, from 2007-2011, he was a fixture on the injured list. Last year, on loan to Ukrainian side, Dnipro, he got into a grand total of one match.

Really, based on the evidence, getting into 11 games this season for the Impact was a pretty good return.

This isn’t a knock on Rivas. His body continues to break down as it has over the past few seasons. We can feel for the Colombian’s plight.

At $50,000, he doesn’t take up a huge cap hit — but he does take up an international roster spot. And, was it worth giving that spot to a player who the front office knew going in was likely to miss a lot of games? Again, this goes back to the “injury-prone” tag. When Rivas’s name came up, because of the amount of time he’s missed over the past five years, a massive red flag should have gone up.

Basically, Rivas’s injury-filled season has followed the form sheet.

So, no Impact fan or team member has the right to say that the club has been unlucky when it comes to Rivas. If any fan or any member of the team felt that more than 11 games could be squeezed out of Rivas, they clearly haven’t been paying attention. And, coming off another knee surgery, it would be absolute foolishness to expect more than a handful of games from him next season.

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