USMNT dealt massive blow as McKennie injury rules him out for two months & Juventus midfielder will miss final 2022 World Cup qualifiers

Weston McKennie USMNTGetty Images

Weston McKennie will miss eight weeks after suffering an injury in Juventus' 1-1 draw with Villarreal, knocking him out of the U.S. men's national team's final World Cup qualifiers.

The U.S. has three games remaining in CONCACAF's World Cup qualifying, as they're set to face Mexico, Panama and Costa Rica in their final matches with plenty still to play for.

As things stand, the U.S. sit second in the table, but are just four points out of fourth place, which would see them head to an Intercontinental Playoff in June.

What happened?

McKennie was injured in the waning moments of Juventus' draw with Villarreal, going down after a tackle from Pervis Estupinan.

The midfielder struggled to put weight on his ankle and was helped off the field by trainers as he was replaced by Denis Zakaria.

On Wednesday, Juventus confirmed the USMNT's worst fears, saying that McKennie would be out around eight weeks.

"Weston McKennie also underwent further investigations at J | Medical which confirmed the presence of a compound fracture of the 2nd and 3rd metatarsal bones of his left foot," the club said in a statement. "Recovery times are approximately 8 weeks."

The bigger picture

The injury comes at a horrible time for the USMNT, who will now be without their most in-form player for their most important matches of the cycle.

Since his dismissal from the team in the fall, McKennie has been the team's most reliable and consistent starter, with that form also manifesting itself at Juve where the midfielder had become indispensable.

Now, the U.S. will head into that final round of qualifiers without him as they visit two places, Mexico and Costa Rica, where they've never won in World Cup qualifying.

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Even if that history holds, a win over Panama would be enough to get the U.S. in, although the U.S. lost away to Los Canaleros earlier in the cycle.

With McKennie out, the U.S. will rely on a midfield group that includes Tyler Adams, Yunus Musah, Kellyn Acosta, Luca de la Torre, Sebastian Lletget and Cristian Roldan, with Acosta the most likely to step into the XI in McKennie's stead alongside Adams and Musah.

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