U.S. national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann said on Friday that he is very confident injured forward Jozy Altidore can play some part in Tuesday's round of 16 clash with Belgium.SAO PAULO — Having just qualified for the World Cup round of 16 less than 24 hours earlier following a hard-fought 1-0 loss to Germany, the U.S. national team went through the paces at its base camp, jogging and taking part in a light training session before enjoying lunch with friends and family.
One of the players seen jogging was forward Jozy Altidore, who has been sidelined since straining his left hamstring in the U.S. team's 2-1 World Cup-opening win against Ghana. Altidore was in his third day of jogging, and has yet to participate in full training, but Jurgen Klinsmann was still confident the Sunderland striker could play a role in Tuesday's round of 16 battle with Belgium in Salvador.
"We are very optimistic. Every day is a big step forward with Jozy," Klinsmann said on Friday. "It's 11 days now and it's looking better every day so we are optimistic we'll have him be a part of the Belgium game."
Altidore seems unlikely to start on Tuesday, but could potentially factor in as a substitute, assuming he is able to take part in full training in the next three days. The U.S. departs for Salvador on Sunday morning.
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While Altidore is working his way back to health, Jermaine Jones has been diagnosed with a broken nose. The standout midfielder suffered the injury after colliding with teammate Alejandro Bedoya during Thursday's 1-0 loss to Germany. Jones played on with the injury, and was seen with swelling on the left side of his nose after the match. The break has been deemed not serious and Jones will not wear a protective mask against Belgium.
U.S. Soccer also confirmed that both Jones and Bedoya underwent screening for concussions during and after Thursday's match, and also on Friday, and both were cleared. The extensive testing comes on the heels of criticism levied against FIFA after Uruguayan defender Alvaro Pereira re-entered Uruguay's match against England after being knocked unconscious.