DAVID SMITH - Monday, February 1, 2010
Starting USA right back Steve Cherundolo has sustained a shoulder injury over the weekend with club team Hannover 96 and is expected to be sidelined for up to six weeks as he returns to fitness.

The long time Hannover player was absent in their 3-1 loss to Nürnberg on Saturday due to yellow card accumulation, however the real blow to the team came the following day as they made a quick return to training.

"Yesterday we had a normal training session during which Steve fell down and now has an injury in his left shoulder," Hannover press chief Andreas Kuhnt confirmed.

"The doctors said it's not a normal break but it's some kind of break of the shoulder," he continues.

Despite the severe-sounding nature of the injury, the team can breathe a sigh of relief as initial outlook suggests a mid-March return to the field should all go as planned with the two-time World Cup veteran's recovery.

"There is no need for surgery," Kuhnt explains. "It just requires normal therapy but it should still take approximately six weeks."

"He will first have to be in therapy for approximately four, maybe five weeks, then he can go to the individual training and will be able to be back with the team in around six weeks."

The Reds have struggled over the last two-plus months of the season, failing to notch up a win since Halloween, losing their last five in a row in the process.

Former Schalke 04 coach Mirko Slomka became their third coach of the 2009-10 season one week before replacing the deposed Andreas Bergmann, as the team seeks to turn around their fortunes which currently have them sitting in the league's 16th-place relegation playoff spot.

With the injury, Cherundolo joins the list of presumed US starters to be missing significant time with their clubs in the final months prior to the World Cup, with Oguchi Onyewu, Charlie Davies and Clint Dempsey all still recovering from their respective set-backs, and midfield hopeful Jermaine Jones still suffering delays in his ongoing rehabilitation.