DAVID SMITH - Thursday, December 17, 2009
German 2. Bundesliga club TuS Koblenz is hoping to see their starting keeper David Yelldell back in goal in time for the season's mid-January restart after he suffered a knee injury last weekend.
Yelldell was forced out of Koblenz's loss in Kaiserslautern on Friday just before the hour mark with an apparent knee injury, as the team conceded their second goal in the eventual 3-0 defeat.
"David Yelldell collided with Erik Jendrisek on Kaiserslautern's second goal and incurred a torn medial collateral ligament in his right knee," Koblenz press officer Julian Turek explained.
Yelldell and the team immediately feared a far worse injury, however tests revealed a far less devastating prognosis which should see a quick return to action for the former protegee of Brad Friedel.
"He is of course very disappointed and we were originally worried it was an anterior cruciate injury, but fortunately it turned out only to be an MCL injury."
The team can consider themselves somewhat fortunate with timing, as his injury comes on the eve of Germany's winter break, potentially limiting Yelldell's absence to only their upcoming game on Friday against fellow relegation strugglers FSV Frankfurt.
"It's not a very bad injury and he will not need an operation but he definitely cannot play with it," Turek continues. "He will be out for four to six weeks and be back next year, possibly for the first game after the winter break against 1860 Munich."
The injury is similar to that suffered by 1860's American striker Kenny Cooper in mid-November, which has kept him out the remainder of the fall term, and also targeting a return in the mid-January showdown between the two teams.
Since Yelldell has made no secret of his desire to suit up for the US national team in the near future, the relatively minor nature of the injury comes as a relief as he hopes to work his way into Bob Bradley's plans in the coming months.
"He does hope to possibly work with the US national team in the future," Turek continues. "He is interested to possibly be the third keeper for the US in the World Cup which is why he was very concerned about the injury."
Koblenz host Frankfurt on Friday evening in their last game before the holiday break, hoping to keep their grip on the league's 16th-place relegation playoff spot while trying to narrow the seven-point gap to safety.