SAN JOSE, Calif. – The San Jose Earthquakes were prepared to make do without center back Clarence Goodson for several weeks this season. It just wasn’t supposed to happen in August and September.
Goodson, the US international who was one of Jurgen Klinsmann’s final cuts from this summer’s World Cup squad, has been ruled out for eight weeks as he tries to recover from a left toe injury, coach Mark Watson told MLSsoccer.com after training Wednesday.
Goodson last played on July 11, in the Quakes’ 2-1 loss to D.C. United. He was listed in San Jose’s injury report last week as suffering from a sprained left big toe, and he has missed four of the club’s last five matches. The 32-year-old is expected to spend four weeks with the foot immobilized and another month getting back into full fitness.
“We’ve been told eight weeks for the isolation and the rehabilitation side combined,” Watson said.
The Quakes were expecting to miss Goodson for a good chunk of May and June on World Cup duty, which is why they have Jason Hernandez and Ty Harden on hand as cover. Hernandez has started four of the last five games and is likely to retain that spot for the foreseeable future.
“All of the guys who have played at the back have done great,” Watson said. “It’s been hard leaving guys out. You have two national-team center backs that are very good players, but the other guys have done well and deserve to play. We’re fortunate enough that we have an incredible amount of depth at that position.”
Goodson is not the only Quakes mainstay battling injury. Forward Steven Lenhart, a late scratch last week against Chicago, is still dealing with a knee problem. In a worst-case scenario, Lenhart could require a minor surgical procedure that would cause him to miss 3-4 weeks.
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“It’s leaning that direction,” Watson said. “We were hoping it would be a short-term thing, but there’s not been a significant enough improvement over the past few days, so it’s possible he’ll have to have something done.”
Watson said there should be a final decision on whether to conduct surgery in “the next couple of days.”
In the meantime, the Quakes will likely continue to use Chris Wondolowski and Yannick Djalo as a forward tandem after the duo combined for two goals and three assists in last week's 5-1 shellacking of the Fire.