Jones refutes reports of looming knee surgery, declares himself fit for USMNT call up

Jermaine Jones

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

In response to reports that U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder Jermaine Jones was set for a six-week spell on the sidelines, Jones has released a statement through U.S. Soccer declaring himself available to play for both club and country.

“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,” Jones said in the statement. “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.”

On Sunday, German publication BILD reported that Jones had been suspended from his club side FC Schalke 04′s next game, a UEFA Champions League match against FC Basel, due to poor form. In addition, the report stated that in response to the suspension, Jones had decided to go ahead and have surgery on his meniscus, which would have left him off the field for up to six weeks.

Less than 24 hours later, Jones sent out a tweet refuting the reports from BILD, and saying that “playing for Schalke is more important at the moment,” than surgery.

The news is likely a boost to USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann, who is likely already going to be without Michael Bradley in the middle of the field. Klinsmann and the next U.S. squad will begin to arrive in Kansas City on Sunday in advance of their World Cup qualifying match against Jamaica on October 11 at Sporting Park.

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What do you think of these developments? Happy to see Jones declare himself fit? Do you see Jones being part of the next USMNT squad?

Share your thoughts below.

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39 Responses to Jones refutes reports of looming knee surgery, declares himself fit for USMNT call up

  1. The Empty Bucket says:

    “It’s true that the club has taken me out of the squad,” Jones told BILD. “I’m taking this opportunity to have surgery on my meniscus. Regardless of the club’s decision (to have surgery now), an operation would have been inevitable because of persistent pain.”

    So they made that quote completely up?

    • Joe+G says:

      Entirely possible that Jones did say that and then backtracked when the “threat” was heard at the team. Or it could have been delivered from a 3rd party and misheard. Don’t assume that everyone tells the truth 100% of the time in this conversations.

    • Cesar Calderon says:

      From Jones Twitter:
      “On my way to training soon!! Surgery ?? No… Schalke 04 is more important atm!! Reading BILD is always the funniest moment of my day!”

  2. TheFrenchOne says:

    the plot thickens…

  3. Nihal says:

    I want to see Kljestan/Mix and Williams

    • David M says:

      Are you talking about the same Williams who can’t get much playing time with Reading?

      • Nihal says:

        I’m pretty sure he got hurt last week, but before that he was getting time. He’s not even close to the 23 right now IMO, but I would just like to see him haha.

        • David JS says:

          Not sure about an injury, but I’m with you on wanting to see him again. 45′ in November with Mix paired w/ Williams would be a 45′ I’d tune in to see.

  4. ATX_Colin says:

    Im confused.

    1) Is surgery on his knee a non-negotiable issue?
    2) Will delaying the surgery until the Winter Break impact his World Cup status?
    3) Is he having issues with his club (wouldn’t be first)?
    4) How long has he had knee issues
    5) Is this a simple clean up procedure?

    Im a fan of J. Jones and hope to see him healthy for this summer, those calling this a blessing in disguise don’t comprehend what he brings to the table.

    • Bac says:

      I think a lot of people have the same questions.
      From what I understand, some lingering pain in the knee, needs a procedure to clean it up, but nothing too serious. I’m guessing some scar tissue??

      This all seems odd from the article to JJs statements to the club’s statements…
      But whatever happens with Shalke, I just hope he’s fit and good to go for us…

      • David JS says:

        From what I can tell, Jones has a minor knee issue that could use a clean up in the near future. In addition to that, Schalke and Jones both know that it would be best for them to part ways. If Jones goes under the knife and is out until the winter break, it would make it harder for him to find a new club and for Schalke to get the compensation they would want. Thus, he’s going to sit out the midweek UCL game (for his poor form), then continue with Schalke until the situation can be resolved in the January window.
        At least that’s my understanding of things, anyways. Doesn’t seem like the best situation for either JJ or Schalke.

  5. blokhin says:

    so to clarify, Jones was removed from squad for either a) poor performance, b) injury or c) poor performance due to injury, but in any case he’s fit and ready to play for USMNT!

    How exactly is that a “boost”? It’s a let down to have a starter out of top form for any reason

  6. MidWest Ref says:

    didnt Jones have an issue with Schalke a few years ago too that resulted in his loan period to Blackburn until a new coach arrived on scene?

    What is it with our USMNT midfielders that they just can’t settle at a club? Deuce has poorly augered his way from the MLS to Fulham, Fulham to Tottenham, and ended up okay but back in the MLS.

    Bradley had a good show in Holland, then a 1 year honeymoon in germany, then hit the pine and couldn’t find his way out ending up on that terrible loan to Aston Villa. He has ended up okay in Italy, though I wonder if he will find the field for a Roma team performing very well in his injury absence.

    And Landon, who couldn’t fit in in Germany – whether due to his own personality or the coach who brought him in. He did well in his two loans with Everton, but I don’t think any San Jose fan is happy with his current location.

    Who am I leaving out?

    • MiamiAl says:

      Jozy, Eddie Johnson, and Freddy Adu…

    • GW says:

      “What is it with our USMNT midfielders that they just can’t settle at a club? ”

      If you are referring to our Euro guys that should tell you how fierce competition is for places over there. And US players have no monopoly on being subjected to competition for places.

  7. biff says:

    There is no nice way of saying it, so let’s just say it: The BS is getting mighty thick today as Jermaine Jones backtracks from the ridiculous comments he is reported yesterday to have said and US Soccer appears to be trying to help cover his back. Let’s start first with the US Soccer press release, which says: “Despite reports from this past weekend, Jermaine Jones will not be having surgery this week and remains fit and available for selection.”

    US Soccer is trying to make it sound like these were anonymous reports that did not come from Jones. Trouble with that is that Jones was quoted by name in newspaper stories making these statements. Unless the newspaper made it up, Jones is the one who told reporters who was going to have the surgery and according to the Kicker story today Schalke is not happy about this.

    link to kicker.de

    Secondly, US Soccer states: “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.”

    First point on that statement is that Schalke is specifically unhappy with the bad second-half performance of Jermaine Jones, who after Hoffenheim came back to tie the game 3-3 lost the ball and Hoffenheim’s Roberto Firmino fired off a shot that rattled the cross bar. Second point is that Schalke is not leaving him out of the game, news reports says Schalke has “suspended” Jones for the game to give him time to reflect.

    And to tie this up, Jones was suspended first. Only after he was suspended was he quoted in the press as saying he would use the suspension to have sugery. Jones appears to be in the doghouse at Schalke.

    • MidWest Ref says:

      It sounds like Klinsi called him up and reminded him that Bradley was out injured and he needed a midfield captain. He probably also reminded Jones that he can’t get transfered to another team at the same wage level if he is not playing.

      • biff says:

        You are probably right, MidWest Ref, that Klinsmann after reading the news stories became involved in the Jermaine Jones meltdown. I do suspect that Jones’s bad form so far this season is somehow linked to unhappiness that Schalke has not extended his contract, which ends in June. And you are right, he needs to play. No team in Europe is going to touch Jones at his high wages, especially at his advanced age, unless he gets his act together and plays at a higher level than he has the past six weeks. He has generally been below average to awful and on Saturday against Hoffenheim ge was the absolute worst to date.

        As for the news stories, I just checked and the Bild newspaper is by no means the only German newspaper reporting on this. It appears to be a huge story in Germany and Jones has a reputation. This local newspaper calls him “the eccentric midfielder.” :-)

        link to derwesten.de

  8. Umlaut says:

    If the knee operation could help his play, I wish he would take the opportunity to get it, now seems like the best time from the National team perspective. Now I understand he may have trouble getting a preferable transfer without playing the next six weeks, in which case I respect the decision to postpone, he’s got to do what seems best. But with the upcoming qualifiers having no bearing on our qualification, it would be a good opportunity to see some of the next-in-line players in midfield (Mix, Kliestjan, Jose Torres, Beckerman, Danny Williams, dare I say Arriola?). And it isn’t that close to the World Cup when we would want to have a core of guys playing together most every match when it would be important for Jones to be playing. If this knee issue is something he has to deal with later in they year, it will be a bigger issue for the USMNT, and if he misses a few tune-ups and someone like Danny Williams plays well, he very well may lose his starting spot.

    • David JS says:

      The best thing for the national team is for Jones to be playing consistently and playing well next spring heading into summer 2014. If he gets in Schalke’s doghouse and ends up trapped there and trapped on the bench after the January window closes, it would be very worrying considering how important he is to the squad that will be going to Brazil.

  9. Del Griffin says:

    Del Griffin refutes reports that Jones is a good player; Declares him lower on the depth chart than Bradley, Holden, Diskerud and Cameron

  10. AlexH says:

    I think Klinsi needs to call in an experimental rather than 1st choice team if for no other than our first team players are either banged up, mentally messed up, out of form or needed for the playoffs. If we had everybody available then by all means win the group in style, but given that fortune is not favoring us at the moment lets make lemonade with the lemons that we have been dealt.

    I would like to see:

    AJ, Jozy up top.
    Fabian, Mix, Sacha, Bedoya in the mid
    Beas, Cam, Gonzo and Lichaj in the back.

    Let the injured rest, and let the MLS players focus on the playoffs if they can be spared. The above team would answer some questions, give opportunities and still have a decent chance of winning the group.

  11. Landon Klinsman says:

    I can with no matter who shows up to play.

  12. biff says:

    It just struck me, most important for Jermaine Jones right now is to repair the obvious damage between him and Schalke. It might be wise for Klinsmann to let Jones stay at Schalke and try to rebuild the bridge with his club rather than have him flying over for WCQs that are not so important now that we are already qualified. The World Cup next summer is now most important and a Jermaine Jones who is starting at Schalke between now and then would most likely be able to contribute more to the USMNT than a Jermaine Jones warming the bench at Schalke or not dressing on game days.

    • David JS says:

      100%. Regardless of whether Jones is at Schalke or not come next spring, his only option right now is to repair that relationship. Any positive outcome here for Jones requires Schalke helping him (or at least not standing in his way).

  13. UclaBruinGreat says:

    I know there are plenty of you out there that aren’t Sacha Kljestan fans, but I personally hope to see him start in these qualifiers. One thing I’m sure most of us can agree on is that we haven’t seen Sacha get a chance to play a full 90 in his preferred position under Klinsy. I don’t count that Belgium friendly game because that was a complete disaster for every U.S. player involved that day. This is a perfect chance to see what we have with Kljestan once and for all.

    John Brooks is injured. Fabian Johnson is currently out with an ankle injury, so his call-up is in doubt. Dempsey has not been playing due to injury. And since Sunderland is in a managerial transition right now, I think it is best that Klinsy leaves Altidore in England. So I want to see:

    ——————————-Johansson——————————–
    Castillo——————–Donovan————————Bedoya
    ———————–Diskerud——Kljestan————————
    Beasley———–Besler———-Gonzalez———Chandler
    ——————————–Howard/Guzan————————

    • Mike R says:

      I would also like to see Sacha play….
      Because since the US qualified it means a better chance of the US not winning and more importantly to do our part to make sure Mexico doesn’t qualify

    • Dan says:

      You forgot that Herc is back from injury

    • Beto says:

      I like the lineup; except the rb, dont know anyone by the name chandler..

      I can see Jones playing through anything but if it not necessary than let any of the other qualified CM’s show us 90mins.wouldnt mind seeing Beckerman get some time too

  14. Kev says:

    Honestly, I was hoping he would have surgery now. Get it done, out of the way, and plenty of season to get back to his peak in time for next summer. More time, the better.

    Surgery in January is far enough away but anything to do with the knee scares me. That would put him back up and running realistically by March – without any complications. That is when he is back on the pitch – not necessarily playing in the starting 11.

    Obviously, this is most likely why Jones was pushing the surgery.

    Part of the game but I really HATE injuries. Leading into the World Cup, we always have some major injury loss going against us – some really good player trying to combat an injury. The good news is that we have the depth to compensate more than ever.

  15. Beto says:

    How long is the bundesliga winter break? I thought it was 1-2 weeks? If he is out the first 6 weeks still plenty of time to get rolling again in the last 3 months of the year.

    Hope he does the surgury at the right time and is healthy for the WC. If the rumors are true I really cant wait to see him in MLS someday. Crazy competitor!

  16. biff says:

    A new story out today that sheds some light on the Jermaine Jones’s suspension and surgery stories. The story, linked below, speculates that Jones was so angry after Schalke suspended him for the Champions League game today against Basel, that he decided to turn the tables and pay them back by announcing that, well, during my suspension would be a good time to have surgery, and, by the way, I will be out for six weeks after that. This story says that Jones made the comment on TV. In other words, he is the one that said it (reported it) and he was quoted accurately. And then the next morning, Jones tweeted that, no, not going to have surgery after all.

    I will say this, I am not a fan of Schalke coach Jens Keller, a former Schalke youth coach who I think is now in over his head and will be lucky if he is not replaced by Christmas. But that is still no excuse for not giving 100% on the field.

    link to welt.de

    • Increase says:

      I have heard that the new guy at Schalke was considered unreliable. They are having some issues there management wise. Had them last season too, right?

    • bryan says:

      the Guardian has an article today saying that Jones is essentially being made out as the scapegoat in this situation. and it also confirms that Jones, just days prior to the “suspension”, was labeled a leader by management. so who knows.

      one thing is for sure, Jones DID say he was getting surgery and then backtracked. S04 does seem to be making him the scapegoat, but apparently he doesn’t have too many people going to bat for him in the locker room and there doesn’t seem to be any interest in renewing his contract. so i don’t think S04 cares.

      it’s actually a really lame ending to his time at S04. hopefully things will straighten out…

      link to theguardian.com