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John Brooks still on Klinsmann radar

Hertha Berlin defender John Brooks is still on Jurgen Klinsmann's World Cup radar following a turbulent week for the U.S. international, according to a report.

Hertha Berlin defender John Brooks missed action due to a large-scale back tattoo, according to reports.

Last week, reports about the background of Brooks’ exclusion from the Hertha squad in their away match at Bayer Leverkusen casted a shadow about the Berlin-born U.S. international’s World Cup hopes.

According to Berliner Morgenpost, Brooks was omitted from the trip to Leverkusen because of a "large-scale back tattoo," which made football difficult for the defender. "I don’t have any understanding for that. The tattoo could lead to an inflammation, and, naturally, that is not good," Hertha coach Jos Luhukay was quoted by the paper.

At the weekend, Brooks returned to Hertha’s starting XI in their goalless draw at Augsburg. The under-fire defender profited from a thigh injury of his teammate Fabian Lustenberger, who now in turn could face a race against time to make the Switzerland World Cup squad.

Following the draw at Augsburg, Brooks was praised by Hertha sporting director Michael Preetz, who also revealed that U.S. manager Jurgen Klinsmann has been in touch with the club about Brooks' development.

Preetz told kicker that because of the tattoo Brooks had been "attacked by media and us during a week that has not been easy for him," but said that the U.S. international’s reaction could still earn him a place in the U.S. squad.

"You could see against Augsburg. If he accesses his performance every day, has a professional attitude and radiates what he can do, then a World Cup ticket is still possible," Preetz said, and explained that he is in permanent contact with the U.S. team boss.

"Klinsmann wants to call him up if it is somehow possible," Preetz said

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