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John Brooks sidelined for Hertha Berlin with shin injury

The U.S. defender can't seem to get healthy

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

United States defender John Brooks will once again miss time for his club team. He'll miss Hertha Berlin's huge away match at Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday after aggravating what is being described as a shin bruise last weekend before a match against Bayern Munich.

It's been an up-and-down season for Brooks. When healthy his performances have been exemplary, but he's struggled with injuries off-and-on since the winter break that have impacted the club's results.

Brooks and Hertha currently sit fourth in the Bundesliga table, one point ahead of Fabian Johnson's Borussia Monchengladbach for the fourth and final Champions League spot. They also trail Leverkusen by only five points for third in the league with three matches remaining in the season. A loss for Hertha on Saturday would be devastating to their Champions League aspirations.

Since the last international break, when Brooks picked first picked up the injury and had to miss two World Cup qualifiers, Hertha are winless in five matches.

There seems to be some solace in the fact that the injury isn't serious. Hertha's manager, Pal Dardai, confirmed that the 23-year-old would be back in training, but wouldn't be ready for this Saturday's match.

"It is planned that John returns to training on Wednesday or Thursday. But for Leverkusen it won't be enough. John is a tall player, who needs decent time on the training pitch."

-Hertha Berlin manager, Pal Dardai; Source: Immer Hertha

This latest setback is worrying for the USMNT with the Copa America just over a month away. Having an in-form and healthy Brooks available for selection would be a huge boost for Jurgen Klinsmann's side, but he doesn't seem to be able to reach full fitness without aggravating or picking up another injury. The clock is ticking for him to get fit if he's to play a big part for the national team this summer.