Brazilian center back Leonardo, stretchered off the field in the closing moments of Galaxy's win Sunday at Chicago, tore his anterior cruciate and lateral collateral ligaments in his right knee and will miss the remainder of the season, a club spokesman said.
Leonardo, 23, on loan from Brazilian giant Sao Paulo, is tentatively scheduled for surgery next week at the Santa Monica Orthopaedic and Spors Medicine Group, the Galaxy's team physicians. An MRI on Monday revealed the extent of the injury.
Leonardo had played every minute this season in place of injured center back Gregg Berhalter and gave arguably his finest performance in Sunday's 2-1 win over the Fire. He scored the lone goal in the April 2 win over Philadelphia, heading home a David Beckham free kick in the 33rd minute.
He started 10 games last year but was slowed by a calf injury much of the season.
Leonardo went down Sunday after a challenge to Chicago forward Dominic Oduro in the 93rd minute. Oduro thought the Galaxy defender had dived to draw a foul, ran over to him, tried to yank him to his feet and yelled in his face. Referee Niko Bratsis gave Oduro a yellow card.