Toronto FC does not expect star forward Sebastian Giovinco to miss too much action with his adductor injury.
Giovinco has pulled out of the Italian squad because of the injury, which prompted him to leave Toronto's 2-1 win over Montreal early in the second half Saturday.
Recalled by Italy for the first time since November 2014, he flew to Italy and was checked out by Italian team doctors. The Italian football federation confirmed Monday that Giovinco had left the training camp at Coverciano, near Florence, because he was not fit for the European 2016 qualifying games against Malta and Bulgaria.
"To be fair, we were going to lose him this weekend one way or the other," Toronto coach Greg Vanney said after practice Tuesday. "I see it as not a serious injury, it's maybe a chance for him to relax physically and mentally, recover and prepare for the final stretch and be really sharp."
"For me, what I am most disappointed in is he doesn't get a chance to get back to the Italian national team and show the form that he's in," he added. "That to me is more disappointing than him not being with us this weekend."
Toronto, which plays in Seattle on Saturday, hopes to have Giovinco back for games against New England, New York City FC and Colorado on Sept. 13, 16 and 19, respectively.
Giovinco ranks second in the league in goals (17) and fourth in assists (14).
Fellow striker Jozy Altidore, who has 10 goals, will also miss the Seattle game because of U.S. national team duty.
Toronto (11-10-4) does have forwards Herculez Gomez, Robbie Findley, Luke Moore and Jordan Hamilton available this weekend.
"It's an opportunity for a couple of guys to really get a run-out," said Vanney.
Vanney said Giovinco was spending time with family in Italy before returning later this week.
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Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press