Juventus and United States midfielder Weston McKennie is looking at a lengthy spell on the sidelines after sustaining a broken left foot in Tuesday’s 1-1 draw against Villarreal in the UEFA Champions League.
Multiple sources with direct knowledge of McKennie’s injury confirmed to ESPN that the midfielder suffered fractures to the second and third metatarsals in his left foot, which will leave him sidelined for 8 to 12 weeks.
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The injury occurred in the 80th minute of the first leg of the round-of-16 tie when Villarreal’s Pervis Estupinan delivered a heavy challenge on McKennie, forcing the US international to be immediately substituted.
The injury comes at a critical time for McKennie and his teams. The midfielder has been in fine form for Juventus for several months, and has emerged as a key figure in manager Max Allegri’s plans.
McKennie has also been a vital piece in the US men’s national team’s bid to qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. McKennie is now set to miss the last round of qualifiers, which features critical matches against Mexico (away) on March 24, Panama (home) three days later, and Costa Rica (away) on March 30.
The US is in second place in CONCACAF’s final-round Octagonal for World Cup qualifying, ahead of Mexico on goal differential. But the US has the most difficult run-in of the contenders, from which the top three finishers will automatically qualify while the fourth-place finisher will progress to the Intercontinental Playoff in June.