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March 09, 2016

Union captain Maurice Edu will miss three months with stress fracture

Maurice Edu will miss three months of action after his injury was downgraded from a stress reaction to a stress fracture.

"We will be losing Maurice Edu for a significant amount of time," manager Jim Curtin revealed at his weekly press conference. "There's a fracture that was found in his leg. It's a frustrating process for everybody involved, in terms of finding a diagnosis. A lot of things don't always show up on MRIs or bone scans. We finally got to the bottom of it, though, and an X-ray revealed that there's a fracture there. He'll be out a minimum of three months time."

Edu underwent season-ending sports hernia surgery last fall. He had five months to recuperate for the 2016 campaign but picked up the original stress reaction during the course of rehab.

The fracture is believed to be in the shinbone above his ankle. The location of the break is important, as some spots tend to heal faster than others.

Doctors have five grades for this type of injury, and the stress reaction is grade one. Grade three is a broken bone that remains in place. Grade five is called a "fracture with non-union," where the bone fails to show signs of healing.

In this case, Edu's injury would be probably be considered a grade two on the medical scale, where the bone first shows signs of cracking or breaking.

Edu will be restricted to a walking boot and crutches, and cannot take part in weight-bearing exercises. The injury generally limits athletes to a stationary bike, the swimming pool, or other cardio-based routines.

"We have a new building opening up that has a treadmill and a pool," Curtin added. "All that stuff is great, and he'll be as aggressive as possible in a smart way, to get back to full fitness. Obviously, you can maintain fitness through a bike, and swimming, and all these things. But any pro knows that it doesn't come close to replicating the game. The reality is that he's going to be on crutches and in a boot for awhile."

It's not clear how exactly the injury occurred, but Curtin offered this quote during his March 2 press conference:

"So, (Maurice) healed completely from the groin surgery. He was in Los Angeles, where some great doctors took care of him in terms of the surgery for his groin. (He) aggressively approached his rehab, maybe in hindsight too aggressively, and there's what's called a 'stress reaction'. I think people freak out when they hear that. It's not a broken bone or anything like that. It's just a warning sign that there's potential danger. At the moment, he's been in and out of a walking boot to try to keep him as immobile as he can be. He wants to be on the field and he's anxious to get going. I think everybody's frustrated with the situation."

Edu hasn't participated in team activities since late September and last appeared for the club in the U.S. Open Cup final. His preseason was severely limited and Curtin turned to veteran Brian Carroll to fill the void at the defensive midfield position. Warren Creavalle is next on the depth chart.