Timbers forward Brian Fernández enters MLS health program

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NEW YORK (AP)Portland Timbers forward Brian Fernandez has entered Major League Soccer’s substance abuse and behavioral health program.

MLS announced Fernandez’s voluntary decision Monday.

Fernandez won’t play for Portland at least until the program’s doctors complete their evaluation and he is cleared by program officials.

”Our number one priority is Brian’s emotional and physical well-being,” the Timbers said in a statement. ”Our thoughts are with him.”

The 25-year-old Fernandez was acquired via transfer from Club Necaxa of Liga MX as a designated player on May 6. He had 11 goals and one assist during the regular season.

Portland opens the MLS playoffs facing Real Salt Lake on Oct. 19.

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