• Boyd in USMNT squad to face New Zealand.
  • No Leipzig first-team appearances since December 2014.
  • Four knee surgeries in last two years.

RB Leipzig's forgotten man Terrence Boyd could make his first senior team appearance in 674 days when the USMNT take on New Zealand in an international friendly on Tuesday.

The 25-year-old forward has had to contend with a rotten run of injuries dating back to summer 2014, but is cautiously optimistic those dark days are now behind him.

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"I had four knee surgeries and the last one finally worked out and, you know, from a mental standpoint if you don't know what's going to happen tomorrow then it just makes you feel terrible," Boyd admitted in a recent interview with "I mean, it was a long, long journey. I was injured and didn't know if I would ever come back and to be back in the national team obviously means a lot to me."

The former SK Rapid Wien man (c.) last played first-team football on 7 December 2014. © gettyimages

That Boyd was even considered by USMNT head coach Jürgen Klinsmann for the upcoming game against the All Whites, having not played first-team football since December 2014, is testament to his qualities as a player. The 12-time senior international moved to Leipzig from SK Rapid Wien in July 2014 with an impressive tally of 29 goals in 59 Austrian Bundesliga appearances to his name and netted twice in seven Bundesliga 2 outings, before his cruciate injury curse reared its ugly head for the second time.

Boyd turned out 12 times for the USMNT between February 2012 and March 2014. © gettyimages

"It's a do-or-die year for me," Boyd told German sport specialist magazine kicker during preseason, acutely aware he had just entered the final 12 months of his contract at Leipzig. "My body is in top shape, and my knee copes with the full workload. My middle-term goal is to fight for a place in the first-team squad. I joined Leipzig two years ago with the goal of playing in the Bundesliga."

With Leipzig's intrepid young side blazing an unbeaten trail in their maiden top-flight campaign, however, Boyd might have to wait a while longer to realise his long-stated objective. Being in the company of the Stars and Stripes will undoubtedly help his cause, but staying injury-free remains the priority. If he can do that, the Bremen-born frontman could be breathing Bundesliga air much sooner than expected.

Christopher Mayer-Lodge