Clint Dempsey faces a long layoff after injuring a knee during Fulham’s 2-0 defeat at Blackburn on Sunday, and the striker may not be fit for this summer’s World Cup finals.
Dempsey, 26, picked up the injury in the second half of the game at Ewood Park and, if the club doctors, early prognosis is correct, the American may not play again this season.
“Clint will be scanned tomorrow, but we feel it might be a posterior cruciate knee ligament, which would be very bad for us and he would be out for a while,” Fulham manager Roy Hodgson said. “It’s a concern up front because Clint Dempsey is very useful for us.”
The United States begin their World Cup campaign in South Africa against England on June 12, then meet Slovenia six days later and Algeria on June 23.
USA. team spokesman Michael Kammarman said the USA Soccer Federation training staff had been in contact with Dempsey, and the severity of the injury will not been known until after an MRI exam determines the exact ligament hurt and whether there is other damage.
Dempsey’s injury is also a major blow for Fulham, who are already missing forward Bobby Zamora until March while he recovers from a shoulder injury.
“The doctors are pretty good these days – I would like to see them to be wrong more often,” Hodgson said. “Often their initial diagnosis appears to be the correct one when the scan is made.”