Lionel Messi scored a golazo on his Inter Miami debut to lead the club to a 2-1 over Cruz Azul in the Leagues Cup. After the game finished, he dedicated his goal to Ian Fray, the 20-year-old homegrown player who had to be subbed off in the 30th minute of the game after an apparently serious injury.
"Let me dedicate this victory to Ian (Fray), who was suffering in the locker room from the injury he sustained. He comes from two serious injuries and today he has the bad luck to go through an injury again."
– Lionel Andrés Messipic.twitter.com/C6L125taV1
— Football Report (@FootballReprt) July 22, 2023
So, what is Ian Fray’s injury and why is it a serious affair? Here’s an attempt at making sense of his situation-
Who is Ian Fray?
Ian Fray is a 20-year-old academy graduate at Inter Miami who plays in midfield but is also comfortable playing as a centre-back.
He made his MLS debut in 2023 and has played 11 games in the league. This fixture in which he was subbed off after 30 mins was his Leagues Cup debut for the club.
He has been one of the highly-rated prospects in MLS but injuries have ruined his career progress so far.
Ian Fray injury
At the 30-minute mark, Ian Fray who is coming off two serious knee injuries, collapsed to the ground in a heap.
The physios immediately checked on him and the severity was such that he had to be taken off immediately. At first glance, it looked like a knee problem.
Issues with the knee become common after suffering repeated cruciate ligament injuries as the whole structure of the knee becomes weak.
Ian Fray’s injury history is concerning in this regard.
Also read: 10 footballers whose careers were cut short due to injuries
In the 2020/21 season, he suffered a cruciate ligament injury so severe that he lost more than 2 years of his career. As per Transfermarkt, the injury he sustained on Feb 27, 2021, kept him out for 804 days.
He returned to action on May 12, 2023.
However, the injury luck was cruel to him again. After coming back from two serious knee injuries, as Messi alluded to in his interview, he is set for a spell on the sidelines again.
Cruciate ligament injuries are often career-enders and Messi and Co., along with the wider footballing public, will hope that Ian Fray’s injuries don’t curtail his playing career.