Jozy Altidore jogged at training on Friday, providing the first public evidence of his recovery from the strained left hamstring he suffered in the U.S. team’s 2-1 win vs. Ghana on June 16. Altidore’s left hamstring injury has forced him to miss the team’s past two matches, but Jurgen Klinsmann sounds optimistic that the big striker could play some part in Tuesday’s Round of 16 clash.
Altidore has been jogging for three days and while he has yet to train, the 11 days he has had to rest the injury appear to have helped him, though at this point it seems ambitious to expect him to play a major role in Tuesday’s match.
Without Altidore, Klinsmann has gone to a one-forward system, with Clint Dempsey playing as alone up top. Both Chris Wondolowski and Aron Johannsson have yet to start in the World Cup, and Klinsmann could go with one of them against the Belgians.
In other injury news, U.S. Soccer confirmed that Jermaine Jones did suffer a broken nose during Thursday’s 1-0 loss to Germany, an injury which came after running into teammate Alejandro Bedoya’s head during the match. The broken nose is said to not be too severe, and he is not expected to wear a mask for the Belgium match. Also, U.S. Soccer confirmed that both Jones and Bedoya underwent extensive testing for concussions during and after Thursday’s match, and again on Friday, and both have been cleared.
If Altidore can return to play some part in Tuesday’s match, it would mean Klinsmann would have all 23 players available to take on Belgium, which would come as a surprise in a tournament where injuries and yellow-card suspensions make keeping your 23-player squad together difficult.