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Dempsey has moderate ligament damage, may return before end of EPL season

Clint Dempsey 1 (Reuters)

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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.


  1. Do you actually hear how you sound, Jonathan? The response you gave to quite the innocuous statement is entirely unwarranted. If Federov needs to check his French translation, you need to check your English translation – it is worse than colloquial, it’s profane.

  2. Good news, but it’d be even better if I was confident our national team coach could get a decent performance out of Deuce (or that he’d look somewhat interested when he dons the national team jersey).

    I recall many readers here clamoring for Dempsey to lose his spot to Stu Holden just a few months ago…

  3. takes about a month to get upwards of 90% back, so if he features for 3 or 4 games to end fulhams season all should be well.

    actually it may be good for him, as he’s been playing with no rest for quite a while. after the 08 summer qualifiers and the 09 confed cup, he’s basically had like 3 weeks off every year. this season especially, given europa league midweek duties this season, being the most capped player for fulham. Some rest may do him good, also, keep him from injury.

    shame though, i know how much he wanted 10 this season, was on pace too.

  4. I love McBride as well, but I don’t really see this happening unless Jozy or Casey/Ching (knocks on wood) gets hurt. McBride is and was a target striker (probably with a better knack of scoring goals than Casey and definitely Ching) so the only person he would be called on to replace is Jozy or Casey/Ching.

    I’m not the biggest fan of Ching or Casey, but Ching is very good at what he does (holding the ball up, passing) and Casey scored a lot of goals this past MLS season (he just needs a someone to create for him, i.e. Omar Cummings or Landon Donovan). Both of these guys and Jozy are better options than McBridge.

  5. Considering that he didn’t get proper service during the Olympics, I’d say he did about what he was expected to do. He drew an INSANE amount of fouls, passed well, held up the ball, won 50/50’s and at least placed himself well enough for some sort of service. I can remember him having one very nice header saved by the Dutch goalkeeper Vermeer.

    I’m not going to say that McBride would step in and be the best striker in the pool, but I think he’d provide a veteran presence, maybe of the bench, that can in no way be replicated. He’s the only American who can say he’s scored in more than one World Cup, so Jozy could definitely grow from being around him.

  6. Was looking forward to a post from Conor Casey’s Knee saying “There, but for the grace of Bob, go I…”

    Come on CC’sK, make me proud, make us lol.

  7. I find the news a mix. No operation-good- recovery time to regain form and fitness?

    Depends how long it takes to recover. You can recover fitness but it takes a lot longer to recover form. And he was in a very rich vein of form.

    We will have to wait and see

  8. Given that we were extremely unlikely to read a press release saying “oops — there wasn’t any injury, after all. Our bad.” this is really great news. Obviously, it could end up being worse than they think now. Yes, it would be better had the injury never happened. As the alternatives were various forms of surgery, however, I think we’re justified in our collective sigh of relief. Except for John Harkes.

  9. He is 37 and didn’t show that well in the Olympics. Still it’s nice to know that the possibility exists especially if Davies isn’t able to go and God forbid this Dempsey injury is worse than being reported.

    I’m not sure I’d put him above Conor Casey or even Brian Ching at this point though.

  10. I am so thrilled that Dempsey will be back. However I would not want our current best field player abroad other than Donovan risking injury that would hurt his chances for the future cause he has another world cup in his future. I also like how Ricardo Clark and Jared Jeffrey have quietly signed with a good clubs unlike the other americans testing the waters abroad who have just caused wide speculation for the last 2 weeks.

  11. I agree for the most part, at least formation wise.

    If Jones ever gets healthy he could be competing with Edu and fellow Bundesliger Clark.

    As for the back 4, it’s really hard to tell what it’s going to be like come June 12th. Will Onyewu be healthy and fit? With all his playing time concerns will Bocanegra be starting (and will he still be captain?)?

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see DeMerit starting in the center with Bocanegra (if Gooch isn’t healthy), or in the center with Gooch and with Bocanegra on the wing. Another possibility could be an outside back pairing of Spector and Cherundolo (most likely with Spector on the left).

  12. Interesting interview with McBride on Fulham’s website. He said he is not thinking of a Nat team comeback but wouldn’t turn it down if there was a ‘crazy amount of injuries’.

    I for one would have no problem having McBride back in the mix.

  13. Let’s cut out all the amateur diagnosis and prognosis here, even if you’ve had a similar injury. Until we’ve seen Dempsey’s actual medical report — and probably not even then, since we’re not experts — I don’t think any of us are qualified to offer predictions.

  14. Perhaps but you didn’t have the mega buck PT that the Deuce will have either and your livehood wasn’t on the line either back in HS.
    So can you please put lid on the cynicism?
    Espece de connard!


  16. We dodged a bullet here, but we still need him to be in some semblance of form going into June, its not like we can roll the ball out there and he’s going to start dribbling his way through the English defense.

    But its still good news.

  17. This is what I like to hear, and I think with this news, I think Bradley should play Dempsey as a striker, to allow less running for him as to playing in the midfield. I am starting to see the starting 11 as:


    Spector, Onyewu, Bocanegra, Bornstien

    Bradley, Clark/Edu

    Donovan Beasley/Holden

    Dempsey Altidore

  18. Duly noted. However, based on your skills I will not be recommending you for the position.

    As far as not mentioning which ligament, if it’s not a full tear it might not be completely apparent which one it is other than speculating based on how the injury occured and/or other diagnostic tests.

  19. Good news. Tho there’s been a few stories this last year of players who put off surgery only to ultimately need it and then they ended up missing a larger chunk of playing time. Hopefully PT will be enuf, Dempsey will do his thing at the WC, and all will be well in the world.

  20. i hope he’s gonna be alright, but honestly there is nothing in this statement to make me feel confident that he will actually be back to his old self in South Africa.

  21. Did anyone else hear that sound at 5:47 when this got posted? Yeah, that was every American soccer fan exhaling.

  22. The question really is will it heal in the interim – or, will it be setting up for further. more severe injury down the line.

  23. Okay, first of all, the release does not even state which ligament is damaged. There are 3 in each knee, whichever one was injured has a different healing time. Considering there was a scan, the med team (and PR dept) would know.

    Secondly, the last sentence sense in the first paragraph is completely nonsensical and a double negative.

    More proof we needs journalists and not press releases to get our information from.


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