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D.C. United's Jeff Parke undergoes inner-ear surgery

D.C. United center back Jeff Parke underwent a surgical procedure apparently aimed at alleviating the migraines that have kept him off the field for weeks.

John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports

Injuries have been piling up for D.C. United of late, but there's at least a chance that the list of unavailable players might shrink by one. Per a team release, center back Jeff Parke had a surgical procedure done to address a perilymph fistula. This outpatient procedure apparently does not come with a set timetable for a return, but any signs of progress away from the previously unexplained migraines and vertigo Parke was dealing with have to be seen as a positive.

After arriving via a preseason trade, Parke stepped right into a starting role alongside Bobby Boswell in central defense. Parke played a full ninety minutes in twelve of United's first thirteen games, only being removed late in the season opener against Columbus as the Black-and-Red tried to mount a late comeback.

After an uncertain start to the season, the Boswell-Parke combination was a key part of a run of ten games in which United conceded just eight goals. In Parke's last five starts, United posted three shutouts and conceded just two goals. He hasn't appeared since the 1-0 win over Sporting Kansas City on May 31st; rookie Steve Birnbaum has started in Parke's spot ever since. Parke was initially sidelined with an unspecified foot/ankle problem, but was said to be past that issue after roughly a month.

If Parke recovers from the surgery with no issues, his return would be welcome. Center back is United's deepest position at the moment, but given that United would have to recall some players out on loan just to fill out a full gameday roster for Sunday's match against the Colorado Rapids, any player coming off the injured list is a positive development.