Gio Reyna has returned to the USMNT, but his playing time is in question. (USA TODAY Sports)

By Michael Lewis

FrontRowSoccer.com Editor

For the first time since he suffered a hamstring injury in September World Cup qualifier, Gio Reyna is back with the U.S. men’s national team.

That’s good news for head coach Gregg Berhalter.

How much the 19-year-old midfielder-forward can play in the three upcoming World Cup qualifiers is another matter.

Reyna recently returned to action with his club team, Borussia Dortmund, coming on as a substitute. So, that means he probably can’t go long in games. And Berhalter will have to find the right balance for Reyna.

“I had a good call with the coach of Dortmund planning out his usage and planning out how much we think we can use them,” Berhalter said during a media Zoom call on Thursday. “The important thing is qualifying for the World Cup first of all, but secondly, is Gio returning healthy to his club.

“We’re mindful of his load. We’re mindful the work that he’s done in the last couple of weeks, and we’re going adjust accordingly.”

Reyna  hasn’t played a full game in months, so his playing  time will be limited during WCQ, regardless if he starts or comes off the bench.

He incurred a hamstring injury in the USA’s first Concacaf Octagonal match, a scoreless draw at El Salvador on Sept. 2. He was sidelined for months. The talented teenager returned to the Borussia Starting XI but was forced out of the Bundesliga match in the 30th minute of a 6-0 rout of Borussia Mönchengladbach on Feb. 20.

Reyna has played twice for Borussia since, both times coming on as a substitute.

The Americans play at Mexico on March 24, host Panama in Orlando, Fla. three days later before visiting Costa Rica in its final Concacaf Octagonal match on March 30.