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Weston McKennie dislocates shoulder during Schalke win over Eintracht Frankfurt

The USMNT star went to the hospital after falling awkwardly in the first half.

Schalke's US midfielder Weston McKennie is carried after injury during the German first division Bundesliga football match Schalke 04 v Eintracht Frankfurt in Gelsenkirchen, on December 15, 2019. (Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP)

GELSENKIRCHEN, Germany — Weston McKennie picked up a shoulder injury Sunday during Schalke’s 1-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt in front of 60,811 spectators at the Veltins-Arena in Gelsenkirchen.

The incident occurred in the 10th minute. McKennie collided awkwardly in the air with Eintracht Frankfurt striker Bas Dost and fell on his shoulder. After three minutes of treatment, McKennie was carried off the pitch by Schalke’s medical team. 

Schalke reported the United States men’s national team player went straight to the hospital with a dislocated shoulder. 

“They have set his shoulder, but he will be out for some time,” Schalke coach David Wagner told Pro Soccer USA. “It is not certain yet whether he has to be operated.”

The average injury time for a dislocated shoulder is 66.4 days, according to Bundesliga injury database Fußballverletzungen.

McKennie, 21, has become an integral part of the Royal Blues. Injuries to defenders Matija Nastasić, Salif Sané and Benjamin Stambouli meant Schalke only had one fit defender, Ozan Kabak. As a result, the tactically-flexible McKennie started out of his natural midfield position at centerback for the third game in a row Sunday.

Without McKennie, Wagner was forced to reorganize his defensive line and move left back Bastian Oczpika to the centerback position.

“We faced plenty of adversity today on the pitch,” Oczipka said after the game.

Schalke’s Weston McKennie lies on the ground after injury during the German first division Bundesliga football match Schalke 04 v Eintracht Frankfurt Dec.15, 2019. (Photo by INA FASSBENDER / AFP)

The Royal Blues reacted well to the difficult situation, and in the 53rd minute took the lead thanks to a goal by Benito Raman.

“It was a hard day,” Wagner said. “Losing McKennie after, I don’t know, 10 minutes, was very difficult for us. We had to fight against so many things today. It’s a special victory. The fans’ support was unbelievable.”

Schalke did not just have to compensate for McKennie’s absence. In the 67th minute, goalkeeper Alexander Nübel was sent off for a brutal foul on Mijat Gaćinović. 

A man down and without a key player, Schalke hung on and secured three points and is now fourth in the Bundesliga.

Nonetheless, instead of celebrating the win, Schalke’s hardcore fans in the Nordkurve chanted McKennie’s name.

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