By FRANCO PANIZO
Jozy Altidore’s health is improving, but he will not be ready in time to play Germany.
U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann said Tuesday that Altidore is still making progress in recovering from the left hamstring strained sustained in the Americans’ 2-1 win vs. Ghana on June 16, but that a potential return to this World Cup would not come until after Thursday’s Group G finale against Germany at Arena Pernambuco in Recife.
“This game comes still too early for him, but we’re working on getting him back in this tournament,” said Klinsmann on Tuesday before the U.S. left Sao Paulo to head to Recife. “Once this game is hopefully done successfully we’ll have a good chance to have him back in the team.”
Altidore might be nearing a return, but the Americans still have not ensured that they will continue on in this tournament. The U.S. currently sits on four points and needs just a draw against the group-leading Germans to reach the Round of 16. There are also scenarios in which the Americans could lose on Thursday but still advance.
The veteran forward missed out on this past Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Portugal because of the hamstring injury, and Klinsmann turned to captain Clint Dempsey to spearhead the U.S. attack in Altidore’s place. Dempsey scored the Americans’ second in that match.