FEARS that Jozy Altidore’s World Cup is almost certainly over have not been dispelled by news that he will miss Thursday’s final group game against Germany this Thursday.
USA coach Jurgen has remained relentlessly upbeat about the Sunderland’s striker’s fitness prospects since the forward suffered a severe hamstring strain in his country’s opening game against Ghana.
But soon after the 2-1 win over the African side last Monday, Altidore (pictured) was ruled out of America’s next game, against Portugal on Sunday, and now it has been confirmed the Black Cats’ frontman will miss the important last group match against the Germans.
Klinsmann though says he is hopeful Altidore will be back for the knock-out stages in a game to be played on June 30 or July 1, should the USA reach the last 16.
The Americans need a point against Germany to progress but a defeat would give Ghana or Portugal the chance to sneak through.
If Altidore had had a remote chance of being involved against Germany, Klinsmann would have been tempted to bring the big man back to help get the US through.
And the idea of the striker playing should the US get through to the last 16 must be doubtful given the way Altidore went down in obvious agony when the muscle first went.
Klinsmann though continues to exude optimism.
“Jozy is recovering really well,” he said.
“He’s doing a tremendous job and our training staff is on top of it.
“This game (Germany) still comes too early for him. But we’re working on him getting back here in this tournament.
“Once this game hopefully is done successfully, we’ll have a good chance to get him back in the team.”