Weston McKennie suffers serious foot injury
It has been confirmed that Juventus and USMNT midfielder Weston McKennie suffered two broken bones in his left foot in the side’s 1-1 UEFA Champions League draw with Villarreal.
A statement was released by the Italian giants on Wednesday giving an update on its players, and it was not good news for McKennie, Juventus or USMNT fans.
Here is what the Turin club said about McKennie’s injury:
What is the latest?
“Weston McKennie underwent further investigations at J|Medical which confirmed the presence of a compound fracture of the 2nd and 3rd metatarsal bones of his left foot.
“The initial recovery time is expected to be approximately eight weeks.”
So, that rules McKennie out until early April, which will see him miss the USMNT’s final three crucial World Cup qualifiers.
This injury comes just as the American midfielder had established himself as an essential start for Juve and he is arguably the USMNT’s most important player.
How did it happen?
McKennie was putting the finishing touches on yet another strong performance in the 80th minute when he was cut down from the side by Pervis Estupiñan.
Estupiñan’s knee clattered into the outside of McKennie’s left ankle, trapping the USMNT star’s foot underneath (pointing outward) as the force of Estupiñan’s knee pushed inward.
Weston McKennie was immediately subbed off, but the 23-year-old first had to hobble his way around the field with the help of a physio, without putting any weight on his left side.
Weston McKennie came off w/ an ankle injury suffered during this rough challenge from Pervis Estupinan.— Ives Galarcep (@SoccerByIves) February 22, 2022
Would expect him to miss a few matches during Juve’s busy upcoming schedule. Here’s hoping he can recover in time for the big March #USMNT qualifiers, which are a month away. pic.twitter.com/IKXdRmRWqi
What does this mean for USMNT?
It’s clear that Weston McKennie will miss a significant chunk of time, for Juventus and the USMNT, which immediately puts the March international window — the final three games of 2022 World Cup qualifying — now just five weeks away, out of question.
The USMNT sits 2nd in the Octagonal, four points behind leaders Canada and four ahead of 4th-place Panama. The top three qualify automatically, while the 4th-place finisher goes to the inter-confederation playoffs to face a side from Asia in June.
The Yanks will travel to Mexico City to face El Tri inside Estadio Azteca, followed by their final home game against Panama, and finally a trip to 5th-place Costa Rica. A victory over Panama and a draw with Costa Rica would see the USMNT secure a top-three finish, no matter what happens in Mexico.
They will have to reach the World Cup without McKennie.