Just when you thought Jozy Altidore had turned a corner with his fitness and was going to have a successful 2016 season, news came out today that he's picked up yet another hamstring injury.
JUST IN: Altidore to miss as much as first two weeks of season. Hamstring.— Kurtis Larson (@KurtLarSUN) February 24, 2016
This is a cruel blow for Toronto FC, the United States men's national team, but specifically for Jozy. He worked so hard during the offseason to slim down and improve his fitness. He lost 10-15 pounds and looked better than ever during his time in January Camp.
This latest hamstring injury makes him a serious doubt for USMNT's two World Cup qualifiers vs. Guatemala in late March. The MLS season begins on March 6th, so according to Kurt Larson this injury rules him out until at least March 13th. With the first match in Guatemala on March 25th, it'll be a race to match fitness. Jurgen Klinsmann will have a tough choice to make when he names his roster for the two vital group matches.
If Jozy is unable to go, could Jordan Morris' position on the U-23 team be in jeopardy? Probably not, as calling up a veteran like Chris Wondolowski would make more sense in this case. Gyasi Zardes and Clint Dempsey will likely be asked to pull the goal scoring load if Altidore is unable to play.
This is the fourth major hamstring injury for Jozy in the last six years. One during the 2011 Gold Cup, another in the first match of the 2014 World Cup, one just before last year's Gold Cup, and now this one. It's beginning to become a very worrisome trend for the 26-year-old striker.