MLSsoccer.com has learned that forward Eddie Johnson will miss the next 10 to 15 days of action with a hamstring injury, jeopardizing his hopes of opening camp with the rest of the US provisional 30-man World Cup roster beginning on May 17.
Johnson went down with the apparent injury on Wednesday in the 42nd minute of a playoff game with Greek club team Aris in Athens, just one day after he was named as one of six forwards on the US roster heading into next month’s World Cup in South Africa.
Aris press official Chrisanthis Tsaltidis confirmed on Thursday that Johnson will miss at least 10 days with the injury, meaning the 26-year-old forward will likely miss at least the first week of the US camp in Princeton, N.J.
Richard Motzkin, Johnson’s agent, said he expects Johnson to join the US camp for the May 17 opener in Princeton, and then he will be assessed by the US medical staff.
“He doesn’t think it’s going to be that long,” Motzkin said. “As planned, he’ll join the US team shortly, and he won’t play any more matches for Aris. But he thinks it’s no more than a week at the most, in terms of being healthy. Hopefully he’ll have enough time to get a chance to have the coaches see him at 100 percent.”
US head coach Bob Bradley selected Johnson along with forwards Jozy Altidore, Brian Ching, Edson Buddle, Herculez Gomez and Robbie Findley. Both Charlie Davies and Conor Casey were left off the roster.
US Soccer did not immediately have a comment on Thursday.
“From Eddie’s perspective, he doesn’t think it’s bad at all,” Motzkin said. “And players know their bodies better than anyone else.”
Motzkin added that Johnson’s removal from Wednesday’s match in Athens was largely a precautionary measure.
“He’ll join the national team as soon as all the other guys do,” Motzkin said. “But obviously they’ll assess him and work him in consistent with whatever his health is.”
Johnson boasts 40 career caps with the US team, including two apperances in the 2006 World Cup in Germany. He joined Aris on loan from Fulham on Dec. 31, and made his debut with the club less than two weeks later. He has scored five goals in 15 appearances since joining the club.