ASN Injury Report
Many World Cup Hopefuls Are Missing in Action
Aron Johannsson, Danny Williams, DaMarcus Beasley, Eddie Johnson, and Omar Gonzalez are among the World Cup hopefuls who missed their teams' most recent games.
Due to an ankle injury Aron Johannsson missed AZ Alkmaar’s final regular season match on Saturday, as well as yesterday’s 3-0 playoff win against Heerenven. AZ will play its return-leg match at Heerenveen this Saturday, with a spot in European competition at stake. If the side advances to the final, Johannsson has been given the green light to miss the beginning of the U.S. national team’s training camp on Wednesday. Jurgen Klinsmann said this in a recent interview with the U.S. Soccer Federation’s website: “It has priority that they get the job done with their club teams before they come into camp. So, we might have a few guys coming in a couple of days later than we expected them, but that's all right."
With the Liga MX season wrapped up, Puebla’s DaMarcus Beasley returned to the states to train with the the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, as he tries get back to 100% before the World Cup. Beasley missed Puebla’s last match in late April because of a right hamstring strain.
The regular season of the English Championship came to a close last weekend, and Danny Williams’ lingering knee injury kept him out of Reading’s 2-2 tie with Burnley. The draw seemed to be enough to keep the Royals in the final playoff spot, until an injury-time goal in Brighton and Hove Albion’s 2-1 win over Nottingham Forest cut the mass celebrations at the Madjeski Stadium heartbreakingly short. Williams made a strong impact in his first season at Reading and finished third in the club’s Player of the Season vote.
Michael Bradley showed no ill effects from the foot procedure he underwent two weeks ago. The Toronto midfielder played for the full 90 minutes of his side’s loss to the Revs and then went the distance in last night’s 2-1 Canadian Championship win against Vancouver. Toronto have another bye week this weekend, so it’s safe to say they won’t have Bradley available again before the national team call-up.
Eddie Johnson’s hamstring injury kept him out D.C. United’s 3-2 loss to Portland. The club travels to Philadelphia this Saturday.
Forest’s loss to Brighton was Eric Lichaj’s last chance to get some minutes this season. The right back underwent double hernia surgery in March but could not return to fitness in time for the end of the season.
Will Packwood’s hamstring strain kept him out of Birmingham City’s exciting 2-2 draw against Bolton Wanderers. The point was enough for the Blues to barely escape relegation, with Doncaster Rovers dropping in their place. The 20-year-old’s contract expires at the end of June and Manager Lee Clark is currently in the dark over what kind of budget he will have to dismantle and rebuild the squad this summer.
In the LA Galaxy’s 1-0 loss to Colorado, Omar Gonzalez injured his left knee in a non-contact situation and had to be subbed off at half time. As of Tuesday, Gonzalez has been training inside StubHub rather than on the field. Though no update is available yet, coach Bruce Arena promises that “it’s a very short-term issue.” Concerning whether he’ll be risked on the artificial turf field at Portland this Sunday, Arenas told MLSSoccer this: “If Omar is good to go, he'll go. If not, he won't. It's that simple. I don't think it's the turf [that determines whether he plays]. Obviously, all things being equal, then maybe it does play a role, but right now we're going to take it day by day, we're going to talk to the doctors and make sure we're moving along in the right way.”
Real Salt Lake’s Chris Schuler picked up a knee injury in Saturday’s exciting 3-2 comeback against Chicago. Last night RSL coach Jeff Cassar told the Salt Lake Tribune that Schuler displayed lingering soreness after the game and is expected to have an MRI. Cassar didn’t seem worried though, saying this: “I don’t think it’s a big deal. The doc said it was more precautionary."
After two games out with minor bursitis in his right knee, Dillon Powers returned for the first 70 minutes of the Rapids 0-0 draw against San Jose last night. Head coach Pablo Mastroeni said this about his playmaker’s impending return leading up to the game: “I’m excited to have him back as an option, a guy that I think will inject a bit of life into the group.”
Houston Dynamo midfielder Ricardo Clark missed the team’s 1-0 victory over Columbus because of a concussion picked up against New York.
Sporting KC’s CJ Sapong played no part in the team’s 2-0 home win against Columbus, his fifth straight game out. Head coach Peter Vermes is still giving the forward time to regain match fitness after recovering from his neck and back strain. He told the Kansas City Star this yesterday <5/7>: “He’s got some time still. It’s his fitness. All the time that’s he’s been out, he’s lost soccer fitness.”
Kelyn Rowe was not in the New England Revolution squad that beat Toronto FC 2-1 on Saturday. Absent the last six games, the midfielder was back in team training last week. Teammate Teal Bunbury said this to MLSsoccer about the impact of Rowe’s return: “I know the rest of the guys are really excited and ready for him to get back and healthy, but the main thing is making sure that he doesn’t come back too soon, and there's no nagging issues.”
There was good news for Stuart Holden on Tuesday. The Bolton News reported that Holden has begun contract discussions with Bolton Wanderers. The 28-year-old returned to the U.S. this week to continue the rehab on his right knee and should be back with the Trotters for preseason training in late June. Manager Dougie Freedman commented on this positive update: “After his work last time his conditioning is very good, it’s just a case of strengthening that knee. Of course, we can’t get ahead of ourselves—he’s had serious injuries before—but that’s the plan.”
Bayern Munich’s Julian Green returned to light training last Wednesday, going through a series of cardio and gymnastic exercises. Tuesday the Associated Press reported that Klinsmsann recently sent national team fitness coach Masa Sakihana to check on the Green’s fitness and that he should be ready for training camp. Bayern’s reserve team does not finish its season until May 24, which could put the teenager in the same position as Johannsson in terms of camp.
Sakihana also reported good progress when he checked in on Timothy Chandler. In Nurnberg’s 2-0 loss to Mainz, Chandler checked off his first full game back from the lateral meniscus tear in his left knee. The right back won’t get the chance to play in Der Club’s season closer against Schalke because of a bookings suspension. If Nurnberg win on Saturday though the side could move on to a two-leg relegation playoff against the third-place side in the second division. This outcome would also delay Chandler’s arrival for training camp.
Lastly, a surgery date of May 14 has been set for Molde winger Josh Gatt to repair the re-injured anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. Gatt’s recovery from his first ACL tear back in June was cut short this March when he was injured in preseason training. The 22-year-old has subsequently missed the first seven weeks of the Norwegian Tippeligaen. Molde have set Gatt’s return date to a very conservative February 2015 for the side’s next preseason. The club’s medical chief, Lars Håvard Sæbø, told MLSSoccer this on Monday: "It is a clean ACL injury this time, no other injuries. I think despite having had this a second time, when it comes to performance, I think he can be as sharp as he was before. This is something we have discussed with him."
Nick Kariuki writes both the ASN Injury Report and the MLS Roundup every week. Follow him on Twitter.
May 08, 2014
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