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SANDY — Real Salt Lake reported Wednesday that veteran defender Chris Wingert has been ruled out for the club’s Western Conference final second leg on Sunday with the Portland Timbers due to injury.
Wingert, currently RSL’s longest-tenured field player, suffered a fractured rib and pneumothorax during the 14th minute of the Salt Lake club’s Western Conference final first leg with the Timbers on Nov. 10. Wingert remained in the match till the 33rd minute when he was subbed out and defender Lovel Palmer entered the match in his place.
The Salt Lake club also reported that Wingert was in the hospital last week for a few days as he underwent surgery to repair his pneumothorax injury.
Wingert thanked fans Nov. 11 for the support he had received following the injury, tweeting, “Thank u guys so much for the nice messages, really appreciate it! An another huge thanks to every1 who came out to the RioT last night #RSL.”
Wingert has been with the Salt Lake club since he was acquired via trade on July 13, 2007, from the Colorado Rapids. The veteran defender played 1,742 minutes for the Claret and Cobalt during the 2013 MLS regular season and has added 243 minutes in the club’s last three playoff games this postseason.
The Claret and Cobalt will travel to Portland this weekend in preparation to face the Timbers in the second and final leg of the Western Conference final. RSL sits up 4-2 on the goal aggregate, which will determine which side will be crowned the Western Conference Champion and advance to the MLS Cup Dec. 7.
RSL reported that head coach Jason Kreis is hopeful that Wingert could be available for contention if the Salt Lake club advances this weekend to the MLS Cup. Kira Terry is a sports writer covering Real Salt Lake for KSL.com. Follow her on Twitter, @kiraterry.