Clint Dempsey is expected to return to action for Fulham before the end of the English Premier League season after scans on his injured knee revealed "moderate damage to a ligament", Fulham revealed on its website on Tuesday evening.
The injury will not require surgery and Dempsey should return before the end of the EPL season, meaning that, barring a setback, Dempsey should be able to recover in time to take part in the 2010 World Cup.
Here is the statement issued by Fulham on the club website:
During the Blackburn Rovers fixture on Sunday 17 January, Clint Dempsey sustained moderate damage to a ligament in his right knee. Following the results of a scan, early indications are positive in that no operation is required. At this stage it is thought that the injury will not prevent him from featuring for Fulham, prior to the end of the season.
That sound you hear is the largest collective exhale in American soccer history.
U.S. national team head coach Bob Bradley expressed confidence in Dempsey's ability to recover in time to play a part in this summer's world Cup.
“The news about Clint's injury is positive, especially given the fact that he will not require surgery,” Bradley said. “We are confident that Clint will be ready to be an important part of our team during the World Cup."
According to U.S. Soccer, the U.S. team medical staff has been in contact with Fulham on a daily basis, and will continue to monitor his progress in the coming months.
What do you think of this development? Think Dempsey can return in time to be an impact player in South Africa? Wondering who will step up if Dempsey isn't ready? Just glad Dempsey's chances of playing in the World Cup are good?
Share your thoughts (and relief) in the comments section below.