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LA Galaxy defender Leonardo to undergo right knee surgery

CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy announced today that defender Leonardo will undergo surgery after tearing both the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) and Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL) in his right knee. A starter in each of the Galaxy’s first seven games of the season, he is expected to miss the remainder of the 2011 MLS season. The 23-year-old Brazilian defender was injured late in Sunday’s 2-1 win over the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park and underwent an MRI on Monday that revealed the full extent of his injury. Leonardo is tentatively scheduled to undergo surgery early next week with club doctors from the Santa Monica Orthopaedic Group performing the operation.

“We are disappointed for Leo, he started the 2011 season in such great form for us and we will miss him,” Galaxy General Manager and Head Coach Bruce Arena said. “As an organization, we will do everything possible to make sure he is back on the field for our club.”

Now in his second season with the Galaxy, Leonardo was one of two players to start and play the full 90 minutes in all seven of the Galaxy’s games this season. Acquired on loan from Brazilian club Sao Paulo before the start of the 2010 season, Leonardo scored the first goal of his MLS career in LA’s last home game, a 1-0 win over Philadelphia on April 2. That goal came on Leonardo’s only shot on goal of the season. He was also booked once on the season, collecting a second half yellow card in the 4-1 loss at Real Salt Lake on March 26.

In two years with the Galaxy, Leonardo has appeared in and started a total of 17 games, playing the full 90 minutes in 16 of those and helping the club keep six clean sheets, including three this season. In the 17 games that the Leonardo has appeared in with the Galaxy, the club has a 7-5-5 record.