Toronto FC midfielder Jonathan Osorio to miss Canada's friendlies in Europe

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Canada will be without veteran midfielder Jonathan Osorio for upcoming friendlies in Europe.

While called up by Canada coach John Herdman, a Toronto FC spokeswoman says Osorio remained in Toronto "to continue his recovery process."

Osorio has been dealing with what he called a "neurological dysfunction" resulting from an elbow in the head in July in an MLS game against Chicago.

The 43rd-ranked Canadian men play No. 48 Qatar in Vienna on Friday before taking on No. 11 Uruguay next Tuesday in Bratislava, Slovakia. Herdman is also without captain Atiba Hutchinson, who is dealing with a bone bruise sustained in pre-season with Turkey's Besiktas.

Midfielder David Wotherspoon and defender Doneil Henry are also missing due to injury.

Club Brugge winger Tajon Buchanan, recovering from injury, was invited to the Canada camp but will only see limited action, according to Herdman.

"There seems to be a lot of things going on," Herdman said prior to camp.

The 30-year-old Osorio, a key component for both Toronto and Canada, returned to action last Saturday when he came off the bench to play 18 minutes in TFC's 4-0 loss at Orlando. He had not played since Aug. 20.

He says the problems started when he took an elbow to the head from Chicago Fire star Xherdan Shaqiri in a July 13 game. That blow to the left side of his head resulted in his jaw not being aligned properly and led to neurological issues.

"At first it seemed like a concussion. It was giving me concussion symptoms," he said last Thursday.

The result was some days he felt fine, only to feel worse after training. Complicating matters, it took a while to diagnose the issue.

Osorio was cleared at halftime of the Chicago game and finished out the match, saying he didn't feel any symptoms at the time other than the impact of the hit itself. He made the trip to Montreal three days later, only to be sit out due to what the club called concussion-like symptoms.

Osorio started TFC's next seven outings, scoring four goals. But in the heat of an Aug. 20 game at Inter Miami, his third match in a week, he said the symptoms got worse, including headaches that affected his vision.

That was ruled out, however, after several medical consultations. Osorio has since started doing exercises designed to get the brain going again.

He is also now using a mouthguard that helps his jaw realign.

Osorio missed Canada's ill-fated camp in Vancouver in June, which was disrupted by a pay dispute, after an injury sustained in an earlier game against Chicago. At the time, Toronto coach Bob Bradley described it as "lower body discomfort.

Osorio, who is making US$1.026 million this year, is out of contract after this season.


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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 21, 2022.

Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press