Vancouver Whitecaps key midfielder Matias Laba suffers torn ACL in knee

Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder Matias Laba will miss the rest of the season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee on Saturday.

Laba, 25, was injured after hitting his leg on the artificial turf in a 1-0 defeat at the New England Revolution last weekend.

He will have surgery in the next two weeks, and the club expect him to recover "by next spring."

"Mati is an important member of the club and we wish him a speedy recovery," Whitecaps coach Carl Robinson said in a statement.

"Our priority now is to support Mati and help him get back on the field as soon as possible. It's a big loss for us, but we have confidence in our group as we enter the final third of the season."

Laba started 19 MLS games and four more in the CONCACAF Champions League for Vancouver this season.

He has played in Vancouver since 2014 but has been linked with a move to Argentine giants Racing in recent weeks.