Darlington Nagbe was forced to withdraw from the US national team squad for upcoming friendlies due to a low-grade left hamstring strain, suffered in Atlanta United's3-1 victory over NYCFC on Sunday in the second leg of the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
Now, this could be precautionary or it could mean his status for the opening leg of the Eastern Conference Championship against the New York Red Bulls is in question. If it's the latter, what could his injury mean for the Five Stripes?
Well, we have some recent history to point to. The midfielder missed more than two months of action with an adductor injury earlier this season. Here's what we can learn from his last time on the injury report:
How did ATL fare without Nagbe?
Nagbe missed 10 straight games between June and September while recovering from the injury. He then missed one more after returning as he worked to regain his fitness.
In those 11 games, Atlanta went 7-2-2 (2.09 ppg). In the 23 games with him in the lineup this season, Atlanta went 14-5-4 (2 ppg).
How did Tata Martino replace him in the lineup?
Throughout the 10 consecutive games without Nagbe, Julian Gressel's positional fluidity proved extremely valuable. He started the first five matches as a like-for-like switch in the middle of the park until Eric Remedi made his first start for the club on July 28, and he hasn't missed a minute since.
After Remidi signed, he and Jeff Larentowicz were paired in defensive midfield with Gressel wide. If Nagbe can't go, this would be the likeliest scenario, though Larentowicz missed just his first match of the season through injury against NYCFC on Sunday, so Martino could have further shuffling to do if both Nagbe and Larentowicz can't play.