New York City FC has been without Thiago Martins for a couple of games now. The center-back had to be substituted off during the Philadelphia Union match, and questions surrounded his injury. Supporters were aware it involved the knee, but the severity of the injury was not known.
On Tuesday, NYCFC officially announced that Martins had a knee scope procedure on his left knee. Luckily, he is expected to "return to training in six to eight weeks", and will not miss the rest of the season. Yet, that is still a long time, and based on the timing, it is possible the Brazilian will not make another appearance until August.
Thiago Martins will miss time with NYCFC, and that is problematic
This is somewhat problematic though, for New York City FC is thin at the center-back position, at least regarding reliable depth pieces. Outside of Maxime Chanot and the Designated Player, there are really just depth pieces. Tayvon Gray, Justin Haak, and James Sands are options, but neither are true center-backs. Haak and Sands are both defensive midfielders, and Sands sometimes struggles in the backline. Then, Gray, a natural right-back, is still suspended while under investigation.
There is also Tony Alfaro, but he has not done anything yet to prove he can be a solid starter, so hopefully the newest player can step up and show the team he can play well next to Chanot. Additionally, of the four that can slide in with the veteran, he is the true center-back. It would be a big help if he can step in and be a defensive powerhouse.
Of course, this will put added pressure on the front office to sign a center-back, and not just a backup one. The team needs to defender that can add competition with Martins and Chanot. More importantly, any injury can have a setback. Hence, it would be smart to plan as if the injured Brazilian is not coming back, despite the positivity on his expected return.
The next few weeks will likely be shaky in the backline for New York City FC. While Martins has not played up to his price tag, he has clearly improved from 2022. His presence next to Chanot will be missed, and hopefully his recovery will go smoothly.