Healthy Wood fig­ures to play key role for USMNT

The Register Citizen (Torrington, CT) - - SPORTS -

WHIPPANY, N.J. » Bobby Wood still re­fuses to say whether he was play­ing with an in­jured knee last spring.

En­joy­ing a break­out first season in the Bun­desliga, the 24-year-old Amer­i­can for­ward missed a pair of World Cup qual­i­fiers in March be­cause of a back in­jury, then didn’t score in Ham­burg’s fi­nal nine games. Ger­man me­dia re­ported he had hurt a knee, and Ham­burg coach Markus Gis­dol said in May: “He’s trained for weeks on painkillers. He plays on painkillers.”

Wood didn’t look sharp when he re­turned to the U.S. na­tional team for qual­i­fiers in June, but scored twice in Ham­burg’s open­ing three games of the new season.

“He’s back at full speed and ready to go,” Amer­i­can coach Bruce Arena said Wed­nes­day, two days be­fore World Cup qual­i­fy­ing re­sumes with a match against Costa Rica at nearby Red Bull Arena.

Wood is among five for­wards in camp, joined by Jozy Alti­dore, Clint Dempsey, Jor­dan Mor­ris and Chris Won­dolowski.

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