By DAN KARELL
Steve Cherundolo’s chances of playing at the 2014 World Cup could be in jeopardy.
Multiple outlets in Germany reported on Wednesday morning that the 34-year-old right back trained individually at Hannover’s training ground due to “persistent knee problems.” Cherundolo missed large chunks of the last 12 months due to injuries in his left knee and underwent three different surgeries.
The U.S. Men’s National Team regular made his first appearance this season on Dec. 1 coming off the bench, and started and played 81 minutes in Hannover’s last match on Dec. 21 in a 2-1 defeat to Freiburg. The report didn’t state whether Cherundolo would be available for Hannover’s first match following the Bundesliga winter break, this Saturday against Wolfsburg.
Cherundolo started in two of Hannover’s friendly matches during the winter break, going 45 minutes in a 0-0 draw with Hertha Berlin and the full 90 last Thursday in a defeat to Fenerbahce. Hannover are currently in 13th place in the Bundesliga and haven’t won since the start of December. Hannover replaced head coach Mirko Slomka at the end of December with Turkish manager Tayfun Korkut.
The American defender has not featured for the USMNT since October 2012, missing the entire Hexagonal qualification round due to his recurring knee injuries. USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has used a number of different players at right back in Cherundolo’s place, including Brad Evans, Fabian Johnson, Geoff Cameron, and Eric Lichaj.
Cherundolo’s next opportunity to play for the USMNT comes on March 5 with a trip to Ukraine.
What do you think of these developments? Worried about Cherundolo’s persistent injury problems? Think he is still the first choice right back when healthy?
Share your thoughts below.