‘Large-scale back tattoo’ has sidelined John Brooks


Category: I wonder what would happen if we let this kid loose in Brazil.

John Brooks, a starter in central defense during the U.S. Men’s National Team’s March friendly against Ukraine, looks unlikely to start this weekend for Hertha Berlin. In fact, the 21-year-old German-born American is unlikely to play at all, given he’s seen limited training this week with one of the most amazing self-inflicted injuries in recent memory.

Recently electing to get a “large-scale back tattoo,” Brooks has been unable to fully practice for Jos Luhukay’s club, with his recovery also forcing him out of last weekend’s team against Bayer Leverkusen. As reported by Der Tagesspiegel, Luhukay described the tattoo’s resulting inflammation as “unpleasant,” expressing confusion as to why the defender would get the work done in-season.

This is some Mario Balotelli-level madness, but we should also keep it in perspective. The kid’s 21, an age where we all do dumb things, though that doesn’t make this any less dumb.

Thankfully, it’s not that serious either. While the choice has annoyed Luhukay (and maybe opened Jurgen Klinsmann’s eyes, a little), this situation won’t last long. It’s not a serious injury, nor does it come at a particularly important time in the season. Hertha are in 10th place.

If you’re a team, you never like to see poor, off-field decisions take assets out of the lineup. At the same, it’s not like the kid when scuba diving with great white sharks. It’s a tattoo and he underestimated the damage. He’ll be back on the field soon, and which point we can stop worrying about the damage and try to get a glimpse of the art.