Schalke midfielder Weston McKennie looks set for an extensive injury layoff following the seemingly serious leg injury he picked up in a challenge with Bayern Munich’s James Rodriguez in a 2-0 defeat against the German champions.
With Bayern 1-0 up in the 51st minute, the American and Bayern goalscorer Rodriguez competed for a loose ball and the latter caught the former’s left shin, sending him tumbling to the turf in obvious pain, before he had to be carried off the field in floods of tears, to be replaced by Nabil Bentaleb. Robert Lewandowski then notched the second from the penalty spot to put the game to bed.
The injury comes at a bad time for the 20-year-old, who has made 36 senior appearances in his career so far and was just cementing his place for club and country, having earned his fifth and sixth international caps and made his first Champions League appearance against Porto, notching an assist.
It is hoped that the injury is not as severe as first thought, and Schalke are sending the player for a scan to determine the full extent of the damage.
"We feared the worst," Schalke sporting director Christian Heidel told WA.
"The entire tibia and fibula hurts him a lot."
This is not the young midfielder’s first major injury setback, having suffered a cracked knee ligament last season. McKennie only missed six games, however, and he will be hoping to bounce back similarly quickly from this one.
McKennie will almost certainly be ruled out of Schalke's next two Bundesliga matches against Freiburg and Mainz, as well as being a doubt for the USA's upcoming fixtures against Colombia and Peru.
"We hope it's not a break, but we can not rule it out," said manager Heidel later told Reviersport. "He can not stand at all, but we need to get an X-ray and MRI to know more."
U.S. boss Dave Sarachan has used McKennie as a regular part of his five-man midfield of late, starting him alongside fellow holding midfielders Tyler Adams and Wil Trapp.
The U.S. is also just two months out from taking on England and Itlay in a set of November friendlies that McKennie would have been odds on the feature in, though it now seems as though he could be facing a race to be fit in time for those matches as well.