BRIAN SCIARETTA - Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Fabian Johnson has missed a lot of time in recent months for both Hoffenheim and the U.S national team. The club, however, believes his lingering ankle injury is not serious.
Johnson, who turns 26 next week, injured his ankle when he was subbed out in the second half of a 3-3 draw with Schalke on September 28. The German-born Johnson missed the entire month of October. He returned on November 9th for Hoffenheim's 3-2 loss to Hertha Berlin and played the second half but the following week withdrew from U.S national team camp citing continued problems with his ankle.
He returned again on November 23rd for Hoffenheim's 2-0 loss to Augsburg and played his first 90 minute game in over two months but only saw a handful of minutes the following week in 4-4 draw Werder Bremen. He did not make the bench in yesterday's cup win over Schalke.
A November 28th report by Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung indicated that Johnson was still dealing with pain in his ankle and was forced to miss a practice that week.
Despite missing yesterday's Cup match, Hoffenheim still believe that Johnson's injury is not serious and his condition is improving. The club has three more games (December 7, December 14, and December 21) before the winter break. The Bundesliga will then resume on January 24.
"Fabian is doing well," Marc Kennedy told YA on Wednesday. "His ankle was causing him problems, especially after his first games. But it's getting better."
So far this Bundesliga season, injuries have limited Johnson to just nine appearances with seven coming as starts. He has played just 657 minutes.