With the news this week of injuries to U.S. midfielders Jose Francisco Torres and Ricardo Clark, and defender Steve Cherundolo, it’s official: The U.S. national team is battling an injury bug.
There are currently nine national-team candidates sidelined by various knocks, and one, Jay DeMerit, working his way back into form after a long injury layoff.
Let’s take a look:
Charlie Davies, F, Sochaux (France), multiple injuries, car accident, Oct 13
Prognosis: Surprisingly good. Davies is way ahead of schedule in his recovery from several broken bones and a lacerated bladder, and says he will definitely be fit for South Africa 2010. That is incredible, and would be inspirational for the team, but it’s probably too early for U.S. fans to be counting on it.
Oguchi Onyewu, D, AC Milan, ruptured patella, Oct 14, 2009
Prognosis: Good. Onyewu had surgery on Oct 22, and rehabbed the injury under the guidance of former U.S. national team trainer Jim Hashimoto. He hopes to resume training with AC Milan by the end of this month.
DaMarcus Beasley, M, Glasgow Rangers, thigh strain on Dec 26, 2009
Prognosis: Good. Beasley’s injury was first characterized as slight, but it has kept him out of action for more than a month. He expects to be back on the field in the next two weeks, and hopes to regain his excellent pre-injury form.
Stuart Holden, M, Bolton Wanderers, thigh strain in mid-Jan 2010 training
Prognosis: Excellent. Holden picked up the injury while on trial with Bolton, but it was not severe enough to keep the club from signing him, and reports indicate he could see the field tomorrow against Fulham.
Clint Dempsey, M, Fulham, knee ligament strain, Jan 19, 2010
Prognosis: Fair. Initial comments from Fulham coach Roy Hodgson were alarming, but it turned out Dempsey’s injury did not require surgery. He hopes to make it back before the end of the Cottagers’ season.
Maurice Edu, M, Glasgow Rangers, ankle bruise, Jan 22, 2010
Prognosis: Very good. Edu took a knock to his ankle in training but he told Yanks Abroad that he hopes to play this weekend against St. Mirren, saying if that doesn’t work out, “then it’ll be Wednesday” against Aberdeen.
Jose Francisco Torres, M, Pachuca (Mexico), hamstring strain, Jan 30, 2010
Prognosis: Good, so far. Torres tweaked his hammy on Jan 23 against Queretaro, but still played this past Saturday vs Atlanta. When the injury nagged, he came off in the second half of Pachuca’s 5-1 romp. The team says he’ll miss only a few weeks.
Steve Cherundolo, D, Hannover (Germany), shoulder injury, Jan 31, 2010
Prognosis: Good. Cherundolo hurt his shoulder in training and is expected to miss four weeks.
Ricardo Clark, M, Eintracht Frankfurt, calf strain, Feb 3, 2010
Prognosis: Good. Clark suffered his injury in training, before getting a chance to make his Bundesliga debut with his new club. Frustrating, but the knock is not deemed serious and he’s expected to return within four weeks.
Assessment: Davies is the only player who suffered catastrophic injury, and he is so far making an astounding recovery. Onyewu’s patella is next on the list in terms of seriousness, and he, too, appears well on his way to regaining fitness.
While Dempsey’s knee injury at first appeared to jeopardize his World Cup chances, his MRI was relatively positive, and you know he’ll throw himself into his rehab with his eyes on the prize in South Africa.
The rest of the injuries are knocks and tweaks that shouldn’t affect players’ standings in the national team pool, based on the information available now. So U.S. fans don’t need to hit the panic button yet, but the trend is still unsettling. Here’s hoping it’s reached its peak.