It looks like Schalke midfielder Jermaine Jones has not joined the litany of U.S. national team injury after all.
German newspaper BILD reported over the weekend that the Bundesliga vet would undergo surgery to repair a torn meniscus and would subsequently be out for about six weeks.
That would have eliminated Jones’ participation in the final two World Cup qualifiers for Jurgen Klinsmann’s national team; the matches are meaningless to the U.S. qualification effort since the Americans have their spot secured, but Klinsmann has repeatedly stressed the importance of another opportunity to get his full team together for further fine-tuning ahead of next summer’s quadrennial tournament.
But Jones pooh-poohed the report yesterday via Twitter, even getting in a little shot at the German publication along the way:
Then today, U.S. Soccer issued a statement with more information. Bottom line, according to U.S. Soccer, is that Jones is available for selection. He is generally Jurgen Klinsmann’s first choice as screening midfielder.
From U.S. Soccer’s release today:
Despite reports from this past weekend, Jermaine Jones will not be having surgery this week and remains fit and available for selection.
Following his team’s second-half performance against Hoffenheim on Saturday in which they surrendered two goals to end with a 3-3 draw, Schalke indicated Jones would be left out of the team for the UEFA Champions League match against Basel this week. The absence is unrelated to any injury, and Jones expects to be back in action this weekend.
“I have had some minor issues with my knee for a while, and the plan is to take care of it during the winter break,” said Jones. “Playing is obviously no problem. I will be in the team this weekend for the game against Augsburg and I’m ready to go for the National Team if I get called in.”