Sources confirm that USA international Fabian Johnson faces an indefinite amount of time on the sidelines after breaking his right hand this weekend.
The defender's injury occurred during the 4-0 loss at Nurnberg on Jan. 25, with the official Bundesliga website confirming the fears.
Brian Sciaretta of American Soccer Now spoke to a Hoffenheim representative on Monday, Jan. 27, who confirmed the hand injury, as well as giving some time frame on how long Johnson will be out of action:
"Fabian broke his right hand and will be out for some time. As of today, we cannot say how long it will be but surely a couple of weeks before he gets back."
As is pointed out on the official Major League Soccer website, Johnson has begun to establish himself as one of Jurgen Klinsmann's most favoured options down the left flank in recent months.
Klinsmann told Grant Wahl of Sports Illustrated that he has spoken to Johnson about the injury:
Klinsmann says he spoke to Fabian Johnson today. Had hand surgery, expects to play this weekend.— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) January 27, 2014
The New York Times' Cristian Nyari states that the player has been attracting interest from other German suitors, having impressed over the last year or so:
According to Bild, Borussia Monchengladbach are interested in Hoffenheim and US international Fabian Johnson. Available for free in summer.— Cristian Nyari (@Cnyari) December 30, 2013
The 26-year-old's injury places some doubt over his involvement for the warm-up fixture against Ukraine on March 5.
The USMNT are currently in preparation for their 2014 World Cup trials, where they've been pitted in arguably the most difficult group of the opening phase, opposite Germany, Portugal and Ghana.
Throughout the USA's qualification process, Johnson has had to contend with several injuries. These included a hamstring strain against Mexico in September that prevented him from having any involvement in the November friendlies against Austria and Scotland.
That frustration looks set to continue, but provided no other bad fortune befalls the left-back-cum-midfielder, Johnson will be heading to South America this summer.
The German-born utility has made 13 Bundesliga appearances for Hoffenheim this season, providing one assist, per Transfermarkt.
With not much to do in terms of helping the recovery of a broken hand, Johnson need only be patient in his recovery ahead of what could yet prove to be a very fruitful year.