TORONTO — Italian star Lorenzo Insigne missed Toronto FC practice Thursday due to what the club called "a personal family situation."
Fellow Italian Domenico Criscito was also absent to support Insigne and his family, the club said in a brief statement. TFC did not detail the matter and declined further comment.
Toronto has lost just two of nine games (4-2-3) since Insigne and Italian national teammate Federico Bernardeschi made their MLS debut July 23.
Bernardeschi (seven goals and three assists), Insigne (six goals and two assists) and Criscito (one goal) have been involved in 17 of Toronto’s last 20 goals in MLS action, including 11 of the last 12 goals.
Toronto (9-14-7) plays at Atlanta United (8-12-9) on Saturday with both teams on the wrong side of the playoff line in the Eastern Conference with time and games running out..
Bernardeschi also was not involved in the portion of training opening to media Thursday. Coach Bob Bradley said the former Juventus winger was "working inside," without elaborating.
In early August, a medical issue involving Insigne's family prompted TFC to delay its flight after a game in Nashville. Bradley said at the time the 31-year-old Italian was made aware of a "family health situation'' after the team boarded its charter following TFC's 4-3 win.
The flight was delayed so Insigne could get more information.
The former Napoli captain subsequently pulled out of the MLS all-star skills competition in Minneapolis. Insigne, who is married with two sons, returned to training later that week.
Midfielder Jonathan Osorio was also absent Thursday. The Canadian international has missed the last three games with an unspecified non-COVID illness.
"He's not feeling right," Bradley said after Saturday's loss to Montreal.
"Everybody's trying to figure out how to help him so that now day-in and day-out he feels better," he added. "He'll have a day or two (where) he'll feel better, train a little bit and then all of a sudden not feel as good."
Bradley did not elaborate on the specifics of the issue. Asked if the team's medical staff had diagnosed the problem, the coach replied: "Everybody's trying to understand why he's not feeling right."
"We fully support him," he added. "He's had a stretch where he just has been up and down a little bit and not felt himself."
Asked again Thursday about Osorio's situation, Bradley replied: "No change from what we've told you recently."
As for getting the missing players back in time for Saturday's game, Bradley said "some will be available. Will all? I'm not sure."
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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 9, 2022
Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press