SAN JOSE, Costa Rica – With roughly 48 hours remaining until the United States national team takes the field at Estadio Nacional for a crucial CONCACAF World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica (10 pm ET, beIN Sport), star forward Jozy Altidore's status remains up in the air.
Although he trained with the team on Wednesday, jogging laps apart from his teammates at the beginning of the session, Jurgen Klinsmann wasn't ready to give a definitive answer regarding Altidore's eligibilty for Friday's match during Thursday's pregame press conference.
"We take it day by day. Today will be another big step," Klinsmann said, referring to an evening training session at which the striker will once again be evaluated. "Everything is healed with the hamstring issue. We did an MRI. We did tests. Nothing can happen, but he hasn't trained in a full rhythm for seven, eight days."
Altidore has scored in a record five straight matches for the US, including a hat trick against Bosnia in the team's last match, but his status for Hexagonal matches against Costa Rica and Mexico came in question after he was held out of Sunderland's league game against Crystal Palace last Saturday because of a hamstring issue.
The USMNT medical staff cleared him to resume training earlier this week, but it's certainly no guarantee the 23-year-old will be ready in time for the match between the Hex's top two teams thus far.
If Altidore can't go on Friday, Klinsmann will choose from a pool of forwards that includes Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan, Aron Johannsson and Eddie Johnson.