American Exports: Hoffenheim optimistic over lightning-fast Fabian Johnson return
AMSTERDAM – Hoffenheim are hoping Fabian Johnson can return to training this week, following successful weekend surgery on the US international's broken hand.
The injury occurred late in the first half of Saturday's 4-0 loss away to Timothy Chandler and FC Nürnberg, forcing the 26-year-old off the field at intermission. Despite fears he could spend considerable time on the shelf, Johnson could be back in training as early as Wednesday.
"Fabian suffered a broken metacarpus on his right hand," Hoffenheim press officer Holger Tromp told MLSsoccer.com. "He underwent surgery on Sunday in Heidelberg. Everything went well.
"Tomorrow, he will receive a special [brace] that shall give him protection during play. If all this works out well, he will be back to practice with the team by Friday."
Johnson, who missed five weeks due to an ankle setback in the fall, has split time between wingback and attack in 13 Bundesliga matches this term. The left-sider, who notched three assists in eight 2013 appearances for the US national team, is widely considered to be a great bet to make Jurgen Klinsmann's squad for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Currently just two points above the danger zone in 13th place, Hoffenheim will host Hamburg on Saturday.