USMNT winger Aron Johannsson had successful surgery yesterday in Amsterdam to remove a piece of bone from his right ankle, says AZ Alkmaar’s official website.
The release states that the problem was causing Johannsson lingering joint pain that the 23-year-old has been dealing with for “several months.”
Earnie Stewart, sporting director of Johannsson’s club AZ, confirmed this in an interview with ESPN, saying Johannsson’s ankle injury has been around for a while.
“He’s had this injury for a longer while than at the U.S. national team,” Stewart said via phone interview. “It was something that you could play with; it wasn’t a problem to.”
The surgery is expected to sideline Johannsson for 6-8 weeks, which leaves him able to return approximately mid-September, unless extra training time is required to get him back to match fitness.
AZ begins its season August 9th against Eredivisie foes Heracles Almelo, who finished 14th in the league last season. The initial timetable would have Johannsson miss five or six regular-season matches to start the season, including an August matchup against defending Eredivisie champions Ajax Amsterdam.
However, Stewart says this was important to take care of during the short offseason. “I’ve played with the same problem myself,” said Stewart. “Once it’s time to rest, it’s something that can aggravate you every time you step out on the field.”
Johannsson was AZ’s top scorer last season with 17 league goals. AZ have a new manager this season, former Dutch striker Marco van Basten.