Toronto forward Jozy Altidore will be sidelined for two-to-three weeks with a hamstring injury.
The 29-year-old left Friday night’s 4-3 win over Minnesota in the 82nd minute, citing hamstring tightness. After the match, he accused team president Bill Manning of hurting player welfare by banning trainer Giuseppe Gueli because of his affiliation with the now-departed Sebastian Giovinco.
“The person we’ve been working with the past 3 1/2, four years is not allowed in the building,” Altidore said then. “You give everything on the field, you give everything for the city, you give everything for your teammates and because of a little whatever, misunderstanding with a guy, players got to pay the price. I just think that’s ridiculous.”
Manning met with Altidore on Monday and said Gueli was working with the team on a part-time basis. Manning said his only issue with the Italian trainer was that he wanted to formalize their relationship so he was available to all players and not just a few.
“Jozy didn’t know that Giuseppe was going to be back,” said Manning, who put the Altidore outburst down to emotions running high in the wake of his early exit.
‘We’re close, we’re family’
Altidore tweeted an apology to Manning and the club.
“I let my emotions get the best of me when speaking to the media after our wild comeback win against Minnesota,” Altidore wrote. “Bill and I connected this morning and I can confidently say we’re on the same page. I know Bill and Toronto FC are committed to pulling out all the stops and dedicated to putting the team in prime position to have a successful season. We move forward together.”
Manning downplayed the controversy with Altidore, who leads Toronto with five goals this season.
“We’re close, we’re family,” Manning said. “He’s so important to the club. And his relationship and mine may actually become stronger through all this.”
Manning compared the disagreement to his son throwing a tantrum in a supermarket or a public place.
“You’re a little embarrassed. You get him kind of alone and you scold him a bit. But you still love him,” Manning said. “This morning when I met with Jozy I was frustrated that he came out as he did, but I love the guy. And once he had the information in terms on what I was working on with Giuseppe, he felt at ease.”