The Galaxy will be without midfielder Romain Alessandrini until September after the designated player underwent surgery Thursday to repair the meniscus in his left knee at the Kerlan-Jobe Institute in Santa Monica.
Alessandrini, 30, injured his knee early in the team’s win over the Houston Dynamo on April 19 and tried to play through the pain before coming off after 16 minutes. The knee operation is the third for Alessandrini, who missed two games earlier this season because of a hamstring injury.
“He’s very important for us,” coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto said. “We need to figure out what to do with other players and maybe make some different tactics. We’re in a fight.
“We know what we are losing, but we are confident with our other players.”
Alessandrini joined the Galaxy from French club Marseille before the 2017 season, signing a three-year, $5.4-million contract. He led the team with 13 goals and 12 assists in 30 games in his first season and has 24 goals and 22 assists in 61 career MLS games.
Alessandrini’s absence complicates things for the Galaxy (6-1-1), who have struggled to find a player to complement forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic on the attack. In the last five games, Ibrahimovic has taken three fewer shots on goal than the rest of the team combined, scoring six of the Galaxy’s eight goals. The absence of another offensive threat has allowed opponents to focus their defensive schemes solely on Ibrahimovic.
General manager Dennis te Kloese said earlier this month that the team, which has money to spend, was looking to add a versatile attacker who could play as either a forward or a midfielder. The injury to Alessandrini has accelerated that search with Te Kloese saying Friday he expects to sign a replacement before the primary transfer window closes May 7.
“We were already scouting. We’ve pinned down a lot of candidates on offensive strength and obviously this strengthens the idea,” Te Kloese said.
“An offensive piece even before this transfer window ends would be very welcome.”
The Galaxy released few details about Alessandrini’s condition in the week between the injury and the surgery. When asked about Alessandrini’s situation before a scoreless draw on Wednesday in Minnesota, two team spokesmen deferred to Schelotto, who was no more forthcoming when saying, “I don’t know all the things about the injury he has.”