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American Exports: Injuries could sideline John Anthony Brooks for upcoming USMNT matches

AMSTERDAM – Hertha Berlin defender John Anthony Brooks is expected to spend at least two weeks on the shelf after suffering elbow and forearm injuries in a 1-1 draw at Freiburg over the weekend, potentially forcing him to miss the US national team’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers next month.

Brooks left the game after just 20 minutes following a collision with home side midfielder Gelson Fernandes on Saturday. An MRI scan completed on Monday showed Brooks suffered a hyper-extended elbow, as well as a small radius fracture and matching forearm muscle tear.

"He will have to pause for about two to three weeks," Hertha physician Ulrich Schleicher told the club website.

The US national team returns to action in the first of their final two qualifying matches of the Hexagonal on Oct. 11 against Jamaica at Sporting Park in Kansas City before closing out on the road against Panama on Oct. 15.

Brooks, 20, made his USMNT debut during a 3-2 win over Bosnia and Herzegovina last month and went as an unused substitute in the team’s 3-1 loss at Costa Rica on Sept. 6. He was released from the team back to Hertha Berlin before the US’ win over Mexico on Sept. 10 and has not yet been cap-tied to head coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s squad.

With the US team’s ticket to Brazil already punched courtesy of the win over Mexico and a favorable match against Jamaica looming next, many observers pondered if Brooks would make an appearance on Oct. 11 and become cap-tied after previously flirting with a declaration for the German national team.

Brooks is off to fine start in his first Bundesliga campaign with promoted Hertha. Through six games, the 20-year-old is the club's highest-rated defender by leading German outlet Kicker.