American Exports: Altidore doubtful after scary tumble
AMSTERDAM – Following a full examination, AZ Alkmaar top gun Jozy Altidore has been listed as doubtful for Sunday's key closing-day visit from FC Groningen.
The US international was removed 10 minutes shy of halftime after sliding awkwardly into a cinder block thinly covered by tarp near the sideline. Part of the field barrier, the divider Altidore crashed into lies about eight feet beyond the pitch.
"He has a big bruise on his back, and that's actually all," AZ press officer Daan Schippers told MLSsoccer.com. "It means he is doubtful for Sunday."
The news comes as some relief, with the scary incident leaving most observers fearful that Altidore had suffered a concussion. However, the club said there is, thankfully, no head injury to treat.
"He fell into a piece of concrete about two-and-a-half meters next to the sideline, hitting his back," said Schippers. "He didn't hit his head."
In his first season with AZ, Altidore leads the club with 15 Eredivisie goals and a career-best 19 goals across all competitions on the term.
The Cheese Farmers must protect a two-point edge for the league's last direct Europa League pass on the final day of the campaign, with sixth-place FC Twente holding a sizable advantage in goal difference. If AZ allow the Tukkers past them on Sunday, they will then need to win a four-team playoff in order to reach the Europa League next season.