Sporting Kansas City will likely be without the services of Paulo Nagamura in its opening MLS playoff game, the first leg of the Eastern Conference semifinal on Nov. 4. Sporting will take on the winner of the Houston Dynamo vs. Chicago Fire matchup in the Knockout Round.
Nagamura sprained his left ankle in the season finale against the Philadelphia Union on Oct. 24 and was removed with the intention of being ready for the postseason. However, medical tests later in the week showed manager Peter Vermes that the sprain is much more serious than considered earlier.
"It's a serious ankle sprain," Vermes told MLSsoccer.com by phone on Sunday. "I'm very doubtful for our first game. Very doubtful. So it's really going to be when he gets better and when he can play through."
Nagamura also struggled with a calf injury to begin his first season with Kansas City, in which he started 19 games in 27 appearances, notching a goal and an assist. Sporting finished the regular season with the best record (18-7-9) in the Eastern Conference with 63 points.