DAVID SMITH - Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Fulham have said that initial scans on Clint Dempsey's injured knee are not as bad as originally feared, however they are waiting for further evaluation before setting any schedule for his return.
Dempsey underwent evaluation on the suspected posterior cruciate ligament damage on Monday, with the team announcing on its website Tuesday evening that he had only "sustained moderate damage to a ligament in his right knee".
While giving no further details of the precise nature of the injury, they were pleased that their star winger would be able to avoid surgery with a hopeful return before the end of the Premier League campaign and, more importantly for US national team fans, the start of the World Cup in June.
"Following the results of a scan, early indications are positive in that no operation is required," the press release continues. "At this stage it is thought that the injury will not prevent him from featuring for Fulham, prior to the end of the season."
"Whilst obviously disappointed, Clint is focused on his rehabilitation and will work hard, in line with medical advice, to return at the soonest opportunity."
With their initial prognosis in hand, the team is delaying release of any further details concerning the severity and exact nature of the ligament damage while Dempsey and team doctors continue to determine his course of rehabilitation.
"It was agreed with the medical team and with Clint that cannot give any further details about the injury as of now," Fulham communications director Sarah Brookes confirmed to YA by phone earlier today.
Team officials are also putting off any estimation of a timeline for their second-leading scorer's rehabilitation and return to the field until they have had time to evaluate the progression of his recovery.
"Additional detail will come out as Clint is being assessed on a regular basis, but we're not putting a timescale on his return other than we hope he'll be back before the end of the season," she concluded.