US captain Carlos Bocanegra had hernia surgery

PRINCETON, N.J. (AP) — U.S. coach Bob Bradley revealed Saturday that captain Carlos Bocanegra underwent hernia surgery before reporting to World Cup training camp.

Bocanegra, a defender for Rennes, was kicked on the left knee on March 28 in a match against Le Mans. Because of stomach pains, he didn't play after the May 2 game against Sochaux.

He had sports hernia surgery on May 5, with Dr. Ulrike Muschaweck operating in Munich, team spokesman Michael Kammarman said following Bradley's announcement.

All 30 players on the preliminary roster were in full training for the first time Saturday, three days before an exhibition game against the Czech Republic in East Hartford, Conn. Bradley said all players were available for the match, the last before he hopes to trim his roster to the FIFA limit of 23.

Several players had been in limited training when practice began Monday, including Bocanegra and defenders Jay DeMerit (abdominal strain) and defender Chad Marshall and forward Eddie Johnson (hamstring strains).

Midfielder DaMarcus Beasley has been practicing with a sprained thumb and appeared bothered by his right shoulder Saturday.

"There's different timetables," Bradley said. "There's situations that need to be sorted out by next week so you can get to a 23-man roster. In other cases there's a guy like Carlos Bocanegra. He had this hernia surgery. As he comes into this camp we understand the right timeframe of moving him along, so that he's making progress every week and is ready to go."

Although much of this week's emphasis was on conditioning, goalkeeper Tim Howard felt having a full team on the field has its advantages.

"It's just important that everyone is here, we see everyone's face and we're pushing each other and everyone's working hard," he said. "It's a camaraderie thing, it's a team-building exercise that's done subconsciously. When you see everyone out there, and there's less and less injured guys, it makes for a good atmosphere."

Howard spoke with an ice pack on his right thigh due to a slight quadriceps injury that bothered him in the late stages of Everton's season. But he insisted that he is 100 percent.

"It's been the last two months of the season with my thigh," he said. "It's a precaution now so I make sure I don't break down again before World Cup."

Howard said he has been impressed by the forwards in camp. With Charlie Davies sidelined by severe injuries sustained in a car crash last October, the U.S. is searching for a forward to start alongside Jozy Altidore.

Brian Ching, Edson Buddle, Herculez Gomez, Johnson and Robbie Findley all are in camp with Altidore. Bradley said he will have to see the forwards play in games before making any decisions.

Still, he said "it's always a possibility" some moves could be made before Tuesday's game.

"You bring 30 guys in, there's still a lot of work early on in terms of getting fitness and pushing tempo," Bradley said. "I think the camp as a whole has done well. It certainly leaves us with some tough decisions as we work through the next week."

After playing the Czechs, the U.S. faces Turkey at Philadelphia on May 29, then leaves for South Africa the next day. Once there, the Americans play Australia in a final warmup on June 5. The U.S. opener is one week later against England.