Friday, June 14, 2024

USA boss shares concern over Sargent’s fitness ahead of Copa America

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The Canaries forward has been pictured training alone in recent days and has definitely been ruled out of Saturday’s friendly with Colombia owing to the ankle injury that has continued to plague him over recent months. 

Sargent has struggled to complete training weeks and has played through the pain barrier for City in a bid to boost their play-off mission – netting 16 goals in 26 league games after his return around New Year. 

He limped out of City’s play-off semi-final thrashing to Leeds United last month and is still struggling to find his full fitness. 

Berhalter was asked for an update on Sargent’s condition in his pre-match press conference and admitted he will have a decision to make over the City striker’s condition as he seeks to finalise his squad in the coming days. 

“We’ve been training with Josh both in the gym on the field, and he’s not going to be fit to play in the Colombia game,” Berhalter told reporters at his press conference, as quoted by ESPN.

“We’ll have to see if he makes it for the Brazil game, and then we’ll have to make a decision if he makes it in the Copa América roster.”

“He’s had a nagging foot injury. We’ve been unloading him, then giving him some more and then we’ve been testing him, just to see where he’s at. And for us, it’s about how do we get him ready and prepared in a good way, and then make a decision if he’ll be available.”

If Sargent is not fit to face Brazil in Orlando next Thursday, then the likelihood of him featuring in the Copa America is remote. 

Josh Sargent is a doubt for the Copa America with USA.Josh Sargent is a doubt for the Copa America with USA. (Image: PA Images)

Berhalter has named a 27-man squad in preparation for the summer tournament including Folarin Balogun, Ricardo Pepi and Haji Wright as the other striking options. If Sargent is unable to continue, it will be him who misses out. 

The latest news of Sargent’s fitness will fuel further concern over his recovery from a major ankle ligament injury sustained last August in a win over Huddersfield. 

Despite Sargent returning four months later, he has continued to deal with problems and manage his load. 

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