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Altidore's status questionable after hamstring injury

SAO PAULO, Brazil — U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann said he is optimistic forward Jozy Altidore will return during this World Cup.

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Altidore had an MRI exam on his injured left hamstring Tuesday after the squad returned to its headquarters from Monday night's 2-1 victory against Ghana in Natal.

Results weren't immediately available, but hamstrings aren't always quick to heal.

"With Jozy, we've got to see how he now reacts the next couple days with his hamstring, and we're full of hope that he comes back still in this tournament, and that's what we kind of work on every day," Klinsmann said.

Altidore was not made available to the media Tuesday. After the Ghana game, he said: "We'll see what happens. I would love to (play), but what matters is the team."

In the first half Monday, Altidore was running down a ball with Ghana defender John Boye when he lowered his head to try to control it. Altidore, 24, grabbed the back of his left leg and fell in pain. He was replaced by Aron Johannsson.

Also, FIFA officially timed Clint Dempsey's goal at 30 seconds into Monday's match, the fifth-fastest in World Cup history. The only faster goals were by Turkey's Hakan Suker (11 seconds against South Korea in 2002), Czechoslovakia's Vaclav Masek (16 seconds against Mexico in 1962), Germany's Ernst Lehner (25 seconds against Austria in 1934), and England's Bryan Robson (27 seconds against France in 1982).

Dempsey injured his nose but should be okay Sunday against Portugal. Newsday reported defender Matt Besler, who left Monday with a hamstring injury, should also play Sunday.

Messi relief: Lionel Messi's public relations firm said a Spanish state prosecutor dropped the Argentine star from a tax fraud case involving him and his father. Messi's father, Jorge Horacio Messi, is apparently still under investigation for an alleged $5.3 million in unpaid taxes.

Coentrao out: Portugal left back Fabio Coentrao has been ruled out of the rest of the tournament, including Sunday's game against the United States, with a muscle strain suffered in Monday's loss to Germany.

Scary stairs: Video of a staircase most people use to get to and from Rio de Janeiro's famed Maracana stadium shows the structure built atop scaffolding wobbling under the weight of fans at Sunday's Argentina-Bosnia game. The state government issued a statement saying the staircase was inspected, reinforced, then re-inspected again Tuesday to ensure fan safety.

Altidore's status questionable after hamstring injury 06/17/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 17, 2014 10:41pm]

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