USA star Weston McKennie's injured left ankle is a real spanner in the works of Schalke's survival hopes. - © imago images / Team 2
USA star Weston McKennie's injured left ankle is a real spanner in the works of Schalke's survival hopes. - © imago images / Team 2
bundesliga

Schalke's Weston McKennie out for "several weeks" with ankle ligament injury

Schalke's Weston McKennie faces a spell on the sidelines after rupturing ligaments in his left ankle in the USA's March international friendly against Ecuador.

The 20-year-old midfielder landed awkwardly after going up for a header, and needed the help of a stretcher to exit the pitch at the Orlando City Stadium. He will undergo a rehabilitation programme in Germany, with Schalke putting a provisional timeline of "several weeks" on his recovery.

McKennie's absence will come as a serious blow to a Schalke side hovering only three points above the relegation play-off spot with eight rounds of fixtures remaining. The Texan - enjoying his second full season as a professional - has been a ray of sunshine in an otherwise cloudy campaign for the Royal Blues, producing one goal and four assists in 28 appearances in all competitions and starring in all manner of outfield positions.

Watch: Weston McKennie discusses his versatility

Schalke face Hannover (a), Eintracht Frankfurt (h), Nuremberg (a), Hoffenheim (h), Borussia Dortmund (a), Augsburg (h), Bayer Leverkusen (a) and VfB Stuttgart (h) in the run-in, as well as Werder Bremen in the DFB Cup quarter-finals on 3 April.

McKennie's participation in the USA's 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup campaign is not thought to be at risk. The competition begins on 15 June.