Jozy Altidore has officially been ruled out of the United States crucial game against Portugal set for this Sunday.
The news, provided by the Sports Center official Twitter account as well as other sources, broke Thursday and will not come as a huge surprise to those who had been keeping an eye on the situation as it evolved.
The Sunderland striker was forced off the field during the USA's opening World Cup game against Ghana Sunday evening after suffering a hamstring strain mid-way through the first half and has been fighting for fitness ever since.
"USMNT F Jozy Altidore will not play Sunday against Portugal due to strained left hamstring," was the message posted on social media.
Several of Altidore's USMNT teammates confirmed the news and it will come as a big blow to Jurgen Klinsmann's plans as he prepares to take on the European nation.
Altidore has been expected to lead the attack for USA throughout the tournament in Brazil having finally managed to break a long goalless drought courtesy of two strikes in a recent warm-up game against Nigeria.
The national team managed to cope without Altidore against Ghana, winning out 2-1 thanks to a late goal from defender John Brooks. AZ Alkmaar forward Aron Johannsson replaced the striken striker during that game and he is widely expected to be picked to start now that Altidore's absence is official.
Jurgen Klinsmann had spoken previously this week about his hope that the Sunderland striker would somehow be able to recover in time to take part in the upcoming fixture, but it appears that the US medical team have had to accept that Sunday's game has simply come to early.
Lacking their primary striking option fans of the stars and stripes will be hoping that they can pull of another impressive result in order to give themselves a good chance of qualifying from what has been dubbed 'the group of death'.
It goes without saying that Altidore will be backing his teammates from the sidelines, with no official words as yet as to whether he has any hope of making the third and final group game against Germany.
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