SAN JOSE -- Target forward Steven Lenhart had surgery on his right knee for the third time since joining the Earthquakes in 2011, the team announced Saturday.

The 6-foot-1, 190-pound player is expected to miss four to six weeks after a successful arthroscopic surgery Friday at Stanford Hospital & Clinics.

Surgeons also repaired a meniscus tear in Lenhart's right knee in March 2011 and November 2012. Coach Mark Watson said Friday the recent problem was a continuation of past issues.

As a target forward, Lenhart, 27, has taken a pounding from defenders the past two seasons. He had to leave the second game of the year with a sprained medial collateral ligament in the left knee.

After scoring a career-high 10 goals in 2012, Lenhart had four last year, partly because of lingering problems with the knee, according to Watson.

Lenhart made 10 appearances this season, scoring his first goal against the New York Red Bulls two weeks ago. He also scored the Quakes' lone goal in their Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup match against Seattle Sounders FC on June 24.

With Lenhart out, 6-3 Alan Gordon becomes the team's big forward should the Quakes choose to play a more direct style.

Even before Lenhart's surgery, San Jose coaches and management had started a shift to a more possession-oriented game, led by Yannick Djalo. The team signed attacking midfielder Matias Perez Garcia of Argentina this week to help complete the transition in styles of play.


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Contact Elliott Almond at 408-920-5865 and follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/elliottalmond.