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McKennie’s knee injury not serious, USMNT announces

Weston McKennie

United States men’s national soccer team midfielder Weston McKennie warms up during a practice Monday, Sept. 10, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn. The team is scheduled to play Mexico in an international friendly match Tuesday. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

AP

USMNT fans can breathe a small sigh of relief.

On Tuesday night, young midfielder Weston McKennie was yanked in the 40th minute of the eventual 1-0 win over Mexico with a knee problem. It felt worrisome when ESPN sideline reporter Sebastian Salazar reported on the television broadcast that McKennie’s problem was a non-contact injury rather than the result of knee-to-knee contact with another player.

While non-contact knee injuries can often be serious, McKennie has escaped relatively unharmed. While U.S. Soccer initially reported that McKennie had suffered a knee sprain - which indicates some form of unspecified structural damage - the federation corrected the initial release to say McKennie’s injury was actually just a knee bruise.

The federation announced on social media that McKennie has returned to his club Schalke to receive treatment, and that no timetable is yet available for his return to action. The 20-year-old is one of the more promising players in the young U.S. player pool, starting both of Schalke’s first two Bundesliga matches this season and earning his first six caps for the USMNT, all coming after the U.S. was eliminated from 2018 World Cup contention.

In Tuesday night’s game, McKennie was replaced by Julian Green upon his removal, and Green played well amid a cagey match, proving dangerous on the wing and earning key fouls down the stretch.

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