LOS ANGELES -- LAFC manager Bob Bradley said winger Carlos Vela suffered a hamstring injury in Sunday night's match against the LA Galaxy and that the club wasn't taking any chances with its captain.
Caught off-guard by an unexpected substitution, Vela threw his captain's armband to the ground during the 61st minute. Vela then briefly chatted with Bradley on the sidelines before returning to the bench and punching one of the seats.
"Carlos, [his] hamstring tweaked," said Bradley in the post-game press conference. "We don't know for sure. I don't think it's a real bad one, knock wood, but we weren't taking any chances. Obviously, he is a huge competitor so he's not too happy when he comes off."
"The conversation with Carlos is what you would expect.
"I made the decision because I think it's the best one for us."
Vela remains a heavy favorite in the MVP race and leads the league with 27 goals in 26 games.
The LAFC coach reiterated that there are no details yet on the severity of the injury. An MRI on Monday will further help clarify whether Vela will be ready to return to the field at some point in the near future.
"Every now and then he'll feel a little something that hasn't ended up being anything bad, so hopefully that's the case," Bradley said.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored two first-half goals for the Galaxy and newcomer Cristian Pavon netted his first since joining on loan from Boca Juniors. LAFC rallied on Latif Blessing's brace and then scratched out the draw with Vela's score.
LAFC have yet to beat the Galaxy in five matches since joining MLS as an expansion team last season, with two losses and three draws.
"Obviously,there's just what's hanging over our heads which is beating the Galaxy. When you don't do it, there's a part to it that still stings and it will continue to hang over our heads," Bradley said.
"But what goes with that is the part of continuing to grow as a team and I still think that the package of things it takes to be a great team, most are going in the right direction."
LAFC's next match against Minnesota United on Sept. 1 at Banc of California Stadium.