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Injury Report: Estimating Liel Abada's return timeline

By Andrew Crowell

Liel Abada dribbles against Minnesota United (Photo courtesy of CJ Hellner/TopBin90)

Charlotte FC’s newest designated player, winger Liel Abada, is expected to miss some time with a thigh strain. This is a major blow for the squad as getting Abada going is essential to building team chemistry in the attack going forward.

What does a thigh strain mean?

The best way to describe the thigh region anatomically is that there are two single muscles in addition to a muscle group that make up the thigh. These two single muscles include the pectineus and the sartorius. The sartorius is a synergist muscle (meaning its main responsibility is to aid other muscles in carrying out actions). The pectineus is responsible for flexion (moving the leg forwards) and adduction (moving the leg inwards) at the hip joint. 

The main muscle group that makes up the thigh is the quadriceps, which includes the rectus femoris, vastus medialis, vastus lateralis, and vastus intermedius. This muscle group is essential in the sport of soccer as it enables the body to run, kick, and jump. 

Simply put, a thigh strain is an injury to any of these muscles/muscle groups and can be graded in three ways as with other muscular injuries. Abada will undergo an MRI to determine the severity of the injury.

According to MSK Diagnostics, Grade 1 represents a mild pull or strain that does not result in loss of strength. Grade 2 represents a partial muscle tear with some loss of strength, bruising, and/or swelling. Grade 3 represents a “complete” tear with over 50% of the muscle fibers torn, resulting in an inability to use the leg as well as severe pain and swelling.

How much time is Abada expected to miss?

Assuming the injury is a grade 1 or 2, Abada should return in 4-6 weeks. If the MRI determines a result of grade 1, hopefully, Abada returns somewhere closer to the 3-4 week range. There is a lot more unpredictability with a grade 2 strain but around 6 weeks can be a decent guess. 

Stay tuned to our social media pages and website for updates on Abada and the rest of the Charlotte squad.

DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor and my work should never be taken as medical advice. All opinions are my own.