Jermaine Jones played one of his best all-around games in the US colors on Friday night in the 1-0 World Cup Qualifying win over Costa Rica. But he won't get to re-enact the sequel in Tuesday's showdown vs. Mexico at the Estadio Azteca.
The veteran midfielder tweeted that he's headed back to Germany after suffering a gruesome ankle injury against the Ticos, meaning Jurgen Klinsmann will have to make his 25th lineup adjustment in 25 games at the helm:
Good luck for my boys at Azteca stadium on Tuesday! I amtraveling home, my feet is too bad— Jermaine Jones (@Jermainejunior) March 24, 2013
The official word from the U.S. Soccer Federation came on Sunday afternoon in Mexico after the team's arrival: left ankle sprain. The USMNT is in Mexico with 22 players and although they could call up a replacement, it is considered unlikely.
For those of you who aren't squeamish, click here to see what's clearly a pretty brutal injury, which Jones posted to his Instagram account.
The odds-on replacement for Jones in central midfield is veteran Maurice Edu, who's been playing regularly for club team Bursaspor in Turkey and, of course, has plenty of big-game experience in both World Cup qualifying and the 2010 World Cup. Edu has also long had a natural partnership with incumbent Michael Bradley.
Other options on the current US roster are Anderlecht midfielder Sacha Kljestan and Real Salt Lake d-mid Kyle Beckerman.
Jones and Beckerman both started in the central midfield in last year's 1-0 US friendly win over El Tri at the Azteca, while Edu started in central defense.