HERRIMAN, Utah (Thursday, June 2, 2022) – Real Salt Lake Captain and MF Damir Kreilach underwent a microdiscectomy procedure on his lower back earlier today. The 33-year-old Vukovar, Croatia native, now in his fifth season with Real Salt Lake, had doctors remove a portion of a herniated disc in his spine, in order to relieve compression against a nerve, which has been limiting his progress.
“While Damir’s rehabilitation showed signs of progress, undergoing this minimally invasive procedure will give him the best opportunity for a successful long-term outcome,” states RSL Senior Director of Athlete Health and Performance Theron Enns, now in his 25th Major League Soccer season. “A timeline for Damir’s return to the field will be determined later as his rehabilitation progresses, but typically these surgeries result in a full recovery for the athlete. It should come as no surprise to anyone that Damir works as hard off the field in rehabilitation as he does on the field, and our staff will be with him every step of the way to assist. RSL will update his progress in the coming weeks.”
Kreilach, the Club’s 2021 Golden Boot winner (16 goals) and voted Most Valuable Player by his teammates, has appeared in just five matches this season, starting three and scoring one goal (April 9 v Toronto). Kreilach’s last appearance came on April 17 at New York City FC.
Real Salt Lake visits Vancouver, B.C., Canada in this weekend’s lone Major League Soccer fixture (kickoff Saturday, 5:00p MT), before returning home to Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday, June 18, to host the San Jose Earthquakes in what is expected to be the Club’s record seventh consecutive sellout. Tickets can be obtained via www.RSL.com/tickets.
With 25 points accumulated through the first 14 games of the 2022 MLS campaign, Real Salt Lake (7-3-4, 25 pts, t-2nd West) has matched its fastest start ever (2014), despite playing six of its first nine away, with seven games against 2021 MLS Cup opponents. With nine results in its last 13 road games (5-4-4, 19 pts) dating back to late 2021, RSL has set a new standard for away form under Pablo Mastroeni, the Club’s sixth head coach in 18 seasons.
For the first time in Club history, RSL has opened the year with six consecutive sellouts at Rio Tinto Stadium – the 5-0-1 (W-L-T) record matching its best-ever 2010/2014 starts – while Mastroeni and staff have utilized 27 players throughout an injury-filled first third of the year, as the Club has seen exactly 100 combined games of player availability lost due to injury, suspension or international duty.
Real Salt Lake finished last season in dramatic fashion, booking its place in the Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs on Decision Day before making a run to the Western Conference Final following a 14-14-6 regular-season record. Following Saturday’s trip to Vancouver, RSL will then return home on Saturday, June 18, hosting the San Jose Earthquakes to open a stretch that sees three of its following four and five of seven matches played on the Wasatch Front through July 23.