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Fabian Johnson Breaks Hand, May Not Be Available for Ukraine Match

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To say Johnson is questionable to play in the U.S.' March friendly would be optimistic.

Simon Hofmann

The versatile Fabian Johnson player, who missed European friendly action last November with injuries, is questionable at best to make the March 5 date in Kharkiv after breaking his hand in Saturday's Bundesliga match.

Though Johnson's a potentially important player in the USMNT squad -- able to fill in at multiple roles in defense and midfield -- he hasn't been tested in international play since September's dos a cero match against Mexico. He suffered a broken hand over the weekend, when his club team Hoffenheim lost 4-0 to FC Nürnberg in Bundesliga action. Though the club has not yet officially announced the extent of the injury, it means that he likely won't be available for call-up when the Americans travel to Kharkiv's Metalist Stadium -- assuming Ukraine's current political unrest doesn't extend far beyond its capital -- for its March 5 World Cup tune-up match.

Will this affect Johnson's readiness for the World Cup? While the hand injury itself wouldn't sideline him, it might affect his playing time at Hoffenheim (perilously close to the Bundesliga drop zone) once he's able to return, and it creates a long stretch of time between USMNT international appearances.

With erstwhile left back DeMarcus Beasley out of the upcoming USMNT friendly vs. South Korea, and with Chris Klute among those sent back to their club teams as U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann has cut the roster to 22, it's conceivable that Portland Timbers left back Michael Harrington and Seattle Sounders right back DeAndre Yedlin could see some action in Carson and/or Kharkiv to gauge the extent of the team's backfield depth.