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Altidore: Return for Belgium game wasn't realistic

The U.S. national team striker says he suffered a grade two hamstring tear and that the timetable for his return was "realistically very late in the tournament."

Jozy Altidore may have been made available for the U.S. national team's loss to Belgium on Tuesday, but the striker has now acknowledged the target for his return from injury "was realistically very late in the tournament."

Altidore revealed Thursday on ESPN's "Mike & Mike" radio show that his injury in the USA's opening win over Ghana on June 16 was a grade two hamstring tear. The Sunderland forward said he suffered a similar injury in 2011 that kept him out for a month.

Although Altidore returned to jogging and light training in the buildup to the USA's round of 16 match against Belgium, he was an unused substitute in the Americans' 2-1 extra-time loss.

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"The timetable to come back was realistically very late in the tournament," Altidore said. "I honestly thought I was going to be able to help the team sooner rather than later, but it just wasn't to be. It was a target of mine obviously when I first got injured to try and get back in that game, but as it turned out when it got there it was still a bit early.

"It was a terrible moment for me because I've done it before in my other leg in 2011. That was a really bad one and left me out a month. I knew with this one it was similar and I was going to be out a while in terms of the tournament."

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