The Washington Spirit announced Wednesday that forward Estefania Banini is expected to miss 4-6 weeks after undergoing a successful left knee arthoscopy. The reigning NWSL Player of the Month missed last Thursday's game against the Houston Dash due to a left knee chondral defect.
Banini's estimated return time puts her likely return between the end of the regular season and potential playoff games. The Spirit could clinch a playoff berth this weekend with a win on Friday and help from other league results. It is also looking likely that the Spirit will clinch the right to host a semifinal soon enough. Per the Spirit, a semifinal could be either September 30 or October 1. The NWSL final is set for October 9, just a bit over six weeks from today. The Argentine international is a key loss for the Spirit, but Banini's absence will be somewhat mitigated by Crystal Dunn's return from Olympic duty with the USWNT.