The U.S. national team had to play its most recent World Cup qualifiers without standout Fabian Johnson because of injury, and there's no telling when he will return.
Johnson missed the recent U.S. win against Honduras and tie in Panama with a hamstring injury he suffered just before the March qualifiers. At the time the injury didn't appear to be serious, but he has yet to return to action with Borussia Monchengladbach, and U.S. coach Bruce Arena revealed that Johnson's injury has not been healing as quickly as expected.
"The word from their medical staff is that he hasn’t responded that well (to treatment for the injury). That’s a concern," Arena said on Thursday. "We’re going to be checking his progress each week as we go to see if he’s a possibility to be a part of the next camp.
"Right now it’s not [looking] like he’s going to be playing over the next week or two."
Johnson suffered the hamstring injury in Monchengladbach's Europa League loss to German rival Schalke on March 16, and has yet to return to action since. Based on Arena's comments, it appears Johnson will next miss his club's trip to Hoffenheim on Saturday.
Johnson has had a history of issues with his right hamstring. He was forced out of the U.S. loss to Belgium in the 2014 World Cup after injuring the same muscle, and he was sidelined in August of 2015 after tearing his right hamstring.
There are seven weeks between now and when the U.S. will report to camp ahead of the June World Cup qualifiers, which should be more than enough time for Johnson to recover.
Aside from his history of issues with his right hamstring, Johnson also missed time with the national team due to an Achilles injury in 2014, and famously drew the ire of Jurgen Klinsmann for asking out of the U.S. team's CONCACAF Cup loss to Mexico in 2015 with what his club later diagnosed as a thigh injury.