Gordon Williams, Gleaner Writer
Striker Darren Mattocks will not travel to Guatemala for Jamaica's World Cup qualifier (WCQ) on October 12 after failing to recover in time from a hamstring injury suffered playing for his club last weekend.
"Right now I am out," Mattocks confirmed yesterday from Canada, where he plays for Vancouver Whitecaps in Major League Soccer (MLS), North America's top professional football competition.
"Based on what I'm hearing from the medical staff at Vancouver, they think it's best I not go to the Guatemala game."
Up to early yesterday afternoon Jamaica's squad for both games had not been made public, but Mattocks is also likely to miss the WCQ against Antigua and Barbuda at the National Stadium four days later, despite the 22-year-old's belief he will be fit by then.
Vancouver's website, meanwhile, confirmed Mattocks's club teammate Dane Richards had been selected by Jamaica.
very painful injury
Mattocks fell under a challenge in a MLS game against Seattle Sounders on Saturday night. He limped off and was substituted. Afterwards, Vancouver's coach called the injury a possible "muscle strain." Mattocks described it as "minor" and vowed to be ready for the WCQ. Yesterday he admitted the effects worsened the day after the game.
"Honestly, Sunday I couldn't walk," Mattocks explained. "It was very painful."
He was left out of Vancouver's squad against Chivas USA on Wednesday. This week was about recovery.
"I've been doing rehabilitation and it feels much better," Mattocks said. "I'm walking comfortably. Over the next couple days I'll start jogging and then sprinting again."
The Jamaica Football Federation was informed about his condition early this week.
"I told them it didn't look serious," Mattocks said. " ... Sunday night (Vancouver's medical staff) said I'd be back in three weeks time. Right now they're saying take it day by day and see how it goes."
Mattocks made his senior national team debut in a friendly international against El Salvador in August. He played against the United States in a CONCACAF semi-final round WCQ at the National Stadium on September 7, when the Reggae Boyz earned a historic 2-1 win. However, Mattocks was an unused substitute for the return leg in the US, where Jamaica lost 1-0.