Jermaine Jones's latest performance combined with a nagging injury add up to an extended time on the sidelines for the U.S. international and Schalke central midfielder.
According to reports in Germany, Jones has been banned by Schalke for the club's UEFA Champions League clash with Basel on Tuesday, and he will use the time off to undergo meniscus surgery that is expected to rule him out for six weeks. The timetable would make him unavailable for Jurgen Klinsmann and the USA for the final two World Cup qualifying matches next month.
"The coaching staff has decided to give Jermaine a break to reflect," Schalke sporting director Horst Heldt told Sport Bild Plus.
Heldt was critical of Jones' play in Schalke's 3-3 draw with Hoffenheim on Saturday, with the club blowing a two-goal lead in the second half and Jones having significant a role in the collapse. Schalke has struggled to a 2-3-2 start in the Bundesliga, with the 13th-placed club's brass taking action to try and light a spark.
"It's true that the club have withdrawn me from the squad," Jones said. "I will seize the opportunity to have meniscus surgery. Apart from the club's decision, surgery would have been inevitable due to my constant pain."
With Jones expected to be out and Michael Bradley continuing to recover from an ankle sprain, it is increasingly likely that Klinsmann will be without his top two central midfield options for qualifying matches against Jamaica and Panama. The USA has already qualified for the World Cup, though, mitigating the severity of the personnel losses.