US injury crisis deepens: Dempsey could miss World Cup with knee injury

Dempsey deepens US injury crisis; Photo by Nick Sarebi

Clint Dempsey injured his knee in Sunday’s match against Blackburn and now could miss the World Cup. The Fulham player won’t know the extent of the damage until Monday, but the prognosis, according to manager Roy Hodgson, “is not good.” Dempsey brings to three the number of US starters who have gone down with serious injuries since the team qualified for the World Cup Finals, following Charlie Davies’ car accident and Oguchi Onyewu’s ruptured patella tendon. Onyewu could be back in time, but Davies is out of the tournament and with Dempsey also now questionable at best, the depth of the US squad will be tested like never before. This hurts. 

Dempsey’s injury comes at a terrible time for him, Fulham, and the US. He had been having a fantastic season for Fulham, had won the full confidence of his manager, and was making a name for himself as an all around player who also can score some fantastic goals. In fact, he smashed an overhead kick off the bar in today’s game and was arguably Fulham’s best player before he was forced off. A matchup with England must have been a dream come true for all Americans in the Premier League. And with Davies going down, the US needed all its top attacking players to help fill the void.

The full extent of the damage to Dempsey’s knee wont be revealed until an MRI exam on Monday. Hodgson addressed the team doctor’s initial diagnosis after the game and said, “It looks he has suffered cruciate knee ligament damage which if he has keeps him out of action for a while.” For those holding out hope the injury may not be as bad as feared, Hodgson was not so optimistic, “We won’t know for certain until the scan is completed on Monday but the doctors are pretty good these days and often their initial prognosis proves to be the correct one.”

With less than five months to go until the US faces England, for Dempsey to have any hope of playing in the World Cup he has to avoid surgery. Six months is likely the fastest recovery time from a procedure to repair the Anterior Cruciate Ligament. If only rest and rehab is required, he could be back in 3-4 months, which would still cut it close for making the squad to South Africa.

If Dempsey is now also lost for the tournament, two of the team’s top four attacking players will miss through injury. More will be required of established stars Jozy Altidore and Landon Donovan, while promising but unproven youngsters Stuart Holden and Jose Torres will need to step up and make real contributions. DeMarcus Beasley’s return to form is now far more important, and it would be really, really nice if Jermaine Jones could shake the shin injuries and get fit in time to take the field this summer. But there’s no getting around it, losing Dempsey is a big blow for the US team’s chances in South Africa.

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One Response

  1. I’m hearing Fulham say that he won’t need surgery and will be healthy by May. Is this the famous placenta treatment?

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