McKennie out 2 months with 2 broken bones in left foot

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Villarreal's Alfonso Pedraza, right, fights for the ball with Juventus' Weston McKennie during the Champions League, round of 16, first leg soccer match between Villarreal and Juventus at the Ceramica stadium in Villarreal, in Villarreal, Spain, Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022. (AP Photo/Alberto Saiz)

American midfielder Weston McKennie has two broken bones in his left foot and will miss the United States' final three World Cup qualifiers next month.

McKennie got hurt while playing for Juventus in a Champions League second-round, first-leg match at Spain's Villarreal on Tuesday night. Pervis Estupiñán made a two-leg, sweeping sliding tackle in the 80th minute, and McKennie fell to the field in pain.

McKennie tried to get up, took five hops and fell down again. He needed assistance from two people to leave the field, draping an arm over the shoulder of each.

Juventus said Wednesday that an exam revealed a compound fracture of the second and third metatarsal bones. The club projected his recovery time at about eight weeks, which means he likely will miss the rest of the Serie A season. Juventus closes on May 21 at Fiorentina.

A 23-year-old from Fort Lewis, Washington, McKennie has been among the most impressive players on a U.S. team trying to get back to the World Cup after missing the 2018 tournament.

McKennie has nine goals in 31 international appearances, scoring the second goal in November's 2-0 win over Mexico and getting the go-ahead goal in the chilly Feb. 2 win over Honduras at St. Paul, Minnesota.

The U.S. is second in North and Central America and the Caribbean with 21 points, one point behind Canada and ahead of Mexico on goal difference with three games left. Panama has 17 points and Costa Rica 16.

The top three nations qualify and fourth place advances to a playoff, likely against New Zealand.

The U.S. plays at Mexico on March 24, hosts Panama three days later in Orlando, Florida, and closes at Costa Rica on March 30.

Because of injuries, McKennie, Christian Pulisic and Tyler Adams started together just once before this month, in an exhibition against Ecuador in March 2019. They were all in the lineup for qualifiers this month against El Salvador and Canada, and Pulisic was held out of the starting lineup against Honduras.

Gio Reyna, a candidate to replace McKennie in the starting lineup, was sidelined by a right hamstring injury from Sept. 2 until Feb. 6, and then hurt a leg Sunday in Borussia Dortmund's match against Borussia Mönchengladbach.

Dortmund projected Reyna will be able to resume training in two weeks, making it uncertain whether he would be fit for the qualifiers.


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