Sunderland have been sweating over the fitness of striker Jozy Altidore in the last few weeks. The US International suffered a hamstring injury while on international duty. Altidore may not have been utilised much by the US national team manager Klinsmann at the World Cup 2014, but he was a key player in the team nonetheless. Altidore came on the back of his first season in the Premier League. Many expected him to struggle despite having scored a lot of goals in Dutch football and it was the case. He managed a very poor return of just 2 goals in the 38 appearances.
Sunderland could have very well been relegated into the Championship as a result of this poor form and it was only the last few weeks of the season that they managed to climb out of the relegation zone. Despite this, manager Gus Poyet appears to regard Altidore as an important player. He has stated that the coaching staff are extremely confident that the 24-year-old will return in time for the pre-season.
Hamstring injuries usually take around six weeks to cure fully, but Altidore may return much earlier than expected.
Due to the World Cup, pre-season is much shorter this time around and players need to get back to full fitness as soon as possible.
“From the beginning, the doctor has been in touch with the US medical staff. In the beginning it looked bad but it got much better during the weeks and Jozy was nearly available for the last 16. If, say, the US had got through to the next stage, Jozy would have played a part. We know hamstring injuries are tricky and that you have to be careful not to come back too quickly. Jozy deserves his holidays now,” said the Sunderland manager, Gus Poyet.