Americans tuning in to Juventus’ 1-1 draw with Villarreal in the Champions League on Tuesday watched in horror as the Old Lady’s young American limped off injured in the 81st minute. The Weston McKennie injury is a broken foot, according to reports, putting into doubt his ability to participate in vital World Cup qualifiers for the USMNT next month.
Multiple outlets reported McKennie fractured the second and third metatarsals in his left foot after a sliding tackle from Pervis Estupiñán late in the Champions League match on Tuesday at la Cerámica. On Wednesday, Juventus confirmed that was indeed the injury, stating the recovery time is expected to be eight weeks.
Weston McKennie Injury Latest
- Injury: Fracture of second and third metatarsal
- Return timeframe: 8 weeks
Juventus confirm Weston McKennie will need a scan on a left-ankle injury.The American came off 81 minutes into Juventus' draw with Villarreal. pic.twitter.com/yvVDnVekiS
— CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) February 22, 2022
Bad news for Juventus and United States national team.
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) February 22, 2022
— Paul Tenorio (@PaulTenorio) February 22, 2022
The Weston McKennie injury couldn’t come at a worse time. The USMNT plays Mexico on March 24 to kick off the final three World Cup qualifiers for the 2022 tournament in a seven-day span. The U.S. is close to clinching a spot in Qatar, but probably needs to beat Panama to ensure its place.
Additionally, this Weston McKennie injury couldn’t come at a worse time for the man himself. The Juventus midfielder has been in sublime form in 2022, arguably the club’s best player in recent weeks. After a brief USMNT suspension for breaking Covid-19 protocols in September, he’s been one of the USMNT’s most important players during qualifying, scoring in wins over Mexico and Honduras.
With McKennie out eight weeks, he will miss the final World Cup qualifiers, though he would be available for the intercontinental playoff in June, should the U.S. drop into the fourth spot in the Concacaf qualifying table. The injury means Gregg Berhalter may have to rely on players like Luca de la Torre, who was superb against Honduras in Minnesota, or Gianluca Busio, who has been one of Venezia’s key players in Serie A this season.
The news comes after Gio Reyna was injured Sunday in his first start since returning from injury, though he is only expected to miss about two weeks, so he could return for the March qualifying matches.