Lichaj’s return from injury could be delayed until September

Nottingham Forest's Eric Lichaj

Photo by Michael Zemanek/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

The injury that forced Eric Lichaj to miss the end of this past season might also force him to miss the start of the upcoming one.

Lichaj is currently recovering from a hernia injury he had surgery on in March, and his expected timetable to return to Nottingham Forest might be pushed back until September. The club had initially hoped he would be ready for the start of the 2014-15 Championship campaign, but that looks unlikely now for the versatile, 25-year-old fullback.

Lichaj was forced to watch the final two months of the 2013-14 season from the sidelines because of the knock. In total, he made 21 starts in 24 league appearances last season for the Championship club.

Nottingham starts the new campaign on Aug. 9 with a home game against Blackpool.

What do you make of this development? Think this could deeply hurt his chances of breaking into the lineup? Confident he will make his way back into the starting unit once he is healthy and fit?

Share your thoughts below.

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29 Responses to Lichaj’s return from injury could be delayed until September

  1. Vic says:

    He is well above average for a Championship full back. I don’t see a problem for Lichaj to break back into the lineup.

    • GW says:

      Which lineup? Forest or the US’?

      Why do you think he is well above average? How much have you seen him play for Forest?

    • betamale says:

      For someone who watches (and listens to) a great deal of Championship games (Millwall fan) I can tell you that he is a good fit at that level. It’s not like he’s far and above every other fullback in the league, it’s simply not true.

  2. That_Guy says:

    Really hoping he gets a good season in. Definitly deserves to be in the EPL on a lower club team. If he doesn’t help with promotion and his injury isnt serious, Id bet on him getting bought by a newly promoted side.

    Also would make great cover for Yedlin and Chandler allowing Johnson to move up into the midfield, which would help the attack.

    • Clover362 says:

      Why do so many people want to take an above average Fullback and use him as a mediocre midfielder? Johnson’s is better as a full back making overlapping runs and being dangerous. others in the pool need to fill the midfield.

      • Maykol says:

        Mediocre? Johnson has played very well in both positions and is the best wide midfielder for any US player

      • ronniet says:

        Whatever you are smoking please put it down! Above average fullback, mediocre midfielder??? Listen, if Fabian hadn’t signed with gladbach you could make the case he’d be transferring to chamoions league team in any league as a fullback and to be honest i think he is hands down the best wide player by a margin that the US has! His link up play, crossing, technical ability and speed would be coveted by most teams so it baffles me that you undervalue him as a player!

  3. Andy in Atlanta says:

    Athletic hernia surgeries take like 6 weeks to heal fully…what the heck is going on here…

    • Brain Guy says:

      I’m waiting for someone to blame Klinsmann’s training methods.

      • Vlad says:

        Get over it. Klinsmanns training regime took legitimate criticism. If you overrun and dont train the Quads enough (running alone doesnt do this) then your going to see hamstring injuries. its a simple fact

        • Clover362 says:

          Injuries are part of the World Cup because you play a lot of matched in the span of 3 weeks and everyone is so jacked up on adrenaline they go completely balls to the walls. The US had 2 (possibly 3 if Johannson was hurt or just waiting to have his ankle surgery). Germany lost Kedira, Sneijder went down, Di Maria, Naymar ect. Injuries happen having 2 happen is not unheard of and hardly cause for a question on the training methods.

        • Brain Guy says:

          Um, just so you know, I didn’t blame Klinsmann here. Just a little joke about that debate a few weeks ago. Train your fire elsewhere.

        • GW says:

          Vlad,

          The USMNT has highly qualified fitness people working for them. I suspect they know more than a little about their guys than we do.

          Also given their style of play and the conditions, based on what I saw fitness was not an issue for the US.

          Injuries happen and in a World Cup where you have a lot of high pressure games close together in a row they happen a lot. I’ve watched a lot of World Cups and European Championships and the frequency of injuries and card problems are one reason why versatility is so highly valued.

          The Jozy and Fabian injuries were unfortunate but hardly evidence of incompetency on the part of the fitness or the coaching staff.

          • Deigo's Maradoughnuts says:

            I think I fall somewhere in between.

            I don’t think fitness was a problem in terms of endurance — nobody produced a more energetic performance in minutes 105-120 than we did (after a grueling first 105 spent chasing the ball)

            But I too thought the hamstring thing was way odd, as well as the extremely early cramping of the players (noticeable in multiple players even before halftime in the group stage games).

            There are reasons this can happen (thankfully most are easily correctable). But yeah, could’ve just been random

            Something to investigate, I’d say, though not a cause to blow the system up. Guys were fit, no doubt. Maybe just needs a tweak– likely in the 12-24 hours before the match..

            • Fast Eddie says:

              I think there was a different reason why we produced a more energetic performance in minutes 105-120.

  4. Alex H says:

    I hope he gets better soon. I think he is a reasonable US option if only to keep fires lit under the backsides of Jurgen’s flavor of the month.

    • GW says:

      Fabian and Yedlin are possible fullbacks for 2018.

      Beyond that,at this point it is pretty wide open.

    • Lost in Space says:

      USMNT has 3 fullbacks at the moment (Johnson, Yedlin, & Chandler). We need a 4th (Lichaj, Ream, Ferrell, Acosta, Klute) to step up and replace Beasley. If we can find a 5th it will allow Fabian to maybe move further up the field.
      Wide midfield is currently our weakest point….Davis, Zusi, & Bedoya haven’t really shined out wide for the US and our young prospects (Gil, Gyau, Gatt, Green, Shea, Arriola) still need seasoning and lots of 1st team minutes.

      • bryan says:

        i’d say Cameron should still be an option at fullback so long as he plays that at Stoke. like you said, i think Ream and Lichaj are on the bubble. i’d add in Garza and Castillo. Garza is set to play regularly for Xolos and Castillo is still in the picture. there should be some good competition across fullback over the next few years.

        • Deigo's Maradoughnuts says:

          Agree, but both Lichaj and Ream really need to step up even harder this season, because they are truly at the fringes right now, and youth is going to be served from here until 2018. They will be monitored certainly, but they have to produce something well in excess of “business as usual” to really earn the consideration. Guys like Herzog who scout the players abroad are unlikely to champion either of these guys unless they grab his attention with both hands.

          Things like Player of the Year at your club make for a nice feather in the cap, and a good return to form, but both these guys are done if they are content with being above-average players in the Championship. I believe both have it in them, so I look forward to seeing what they can do on this front.

          • bryan says:

            for sure, they need to be consistent. we know Ream decided to stay at Bolton for family reasons. i don’t think we can fault him too much for staying at Bolton for another season given his situation. plus, if he puts together another solid campaign, he should have any better EPL offers.

            as for Lichaj, he’s even further off because he just can’t stay healthy for an extended period of time. hopefully that changes once he is back in Sept.

        • GW says:

          Cameron remains an option at fullback but only on an emergency basis.

          If you watched how Fabian and DMB played the position you saw why JK has never been crazy about Cameron at right back. As long as the USMNT needs width and overlapping runs from their fullbacks Cameron will not be a preferred starter there.

          It’s possible Cameron moves inside to center back or to holding midfield at Stoke or wherever he winds up playing the next few years. Or Cameron may not be in consideration by the time qualifying rolls around, He’ll be 33 after all.

          Right now Yedlin is the only fairly good bet from the 2014 WC back four to be on the 2018 Qualifying squad. I expect qualifying will be a lot harder.

          • bryan says:

            i agree, i’m not trying to argue he is the best fit at fullback for our system. but he is a backup option when discussing fullbacks, so he should be listed. that’s all i was saying. he should be considered an option so long as he is playing there at Stoke.

            i would love to see him move to CB or CM at Stoke. that would be perfect. but it hasn’t happened yet. hopefully this year will be different. and yes, he’ll be older in 2018, but we have a ton of games coming up over the next few years, so we’ll need him.

            in WC qualifying, by the time the Hex rolls around, i would agree that Yedlin should be getting all those reps. or if another RB emerges out of nowhere who is clearly the best at that time. my comment wasn’t to reach out that far.

            i just wanted to say that i think Cameron should always be included in the fullback discussion over the next few years IF he continues to play at RB for Stoke.

  5. bryan says:

    really wish this guy could get/stay healthy and provide another option for the US at fullback.

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