DAVID SMITH - Friday, March 26, 2010
Michael Bradley became the latest US starter to suffer an injury in the lead-up to South Africa, however will barely miss a step as his broken nose is only expected to keep him off the field until Monday.
The Borussia Mönchengladbach midfielder suffered the freak injury in a training session on Wednesday when he came out on the wrong end of a challenge with a teammate, prompting team doctors into quick action to prevent any permanent damage.
"He was going in for a tackle on one of our strikers in training, they both fell down and the foot of the other player hit him in the face," Borussia Mönchengladbach press chief Markus Aretz explained.
"He had surgery for it Wednesday, but it was no big thing," he continues. "They just put it back in the right direction."
Always the tenacious competitor, Bradley saw the facial injury as posing no hindrance to getting his feet back onto the field as the team tries to break out of its five-game winless streak, but team officials felt the risk was unnecessary and have imposed a pause through the weekend.
"Michael would have liked to have gone back into training [Thursday] morning," he chuckled, "but they wouldn't let him so I think he will be back again on Monday."
Even with his absence from team training sessions, the "break" will not affect Foals' coach Michael Frontzeck's planning for their Sunday afternoon showdown with sixth-place Hamburger SV as Bradley was due to miss the game due to card accumulation.
"He couldn't have played on Sunday anyways because of yellow cards, so it was good timing," Aretz concludes.
Gladbach will look to improve on their 12th-place standing on Sunday against visiting Hamburg, and will hope that their visitors' recent defensive frailties can provide an opportunity to break out of their recent scoring woes which have seen them only net a pair of goals in the last 400 minutes of play.