Clint Dempsey hit the bar for Fulham against Blackburn Rovers Sunday with a spectacular bicycle kick before suffering an injury that could end his World Cup dreams (AP Photo).
Bob Bradley is doing the same thing as the rest of us – waiting for word on the severity of the injury the U.S. forward suffered Sunday for Fulham.
That update may not come until Tuesday since it appears Fulham officials are seeking more than one medical opinion.
Bradley spoke to reporters after Monday’s morning training session at a wet and windy Home Depot Center and tried to sound positive about the third injury to a crucial player in recent months. (Striker Charlie Davis is still rehabbing his injuries suffered in that car crash last year, while defender Oguchi Onyewu is similarly a World Cup question mark after injuring a knee in the final World Cup qualifier, of course).
Bradley said Dempsey sounded “upbeat” when the two spoke and was “surprised” by the quantity of text messages and e-mails he received in the wake of the injury.
“Obviously we’re waiting on reports of the scan they did today,” Bradley said. “I saw the play – it looked a harmless play. Now we just need to wait and see.
“You never want to see your players injured and Clint has been in good form. But we have hope that the time is right for him to be able to get through this, continue to play for his club team as well as he has, and be ready for the World Cup.”
Dempsey started 13 out of the 15 U.S. World Cup qualifying games, although he didn’t play against either Honduras or Costa Rica in the final pair of games in the campaign.
Bradley said he was optimistic all three players were capable of recovering in time for the World Cup:
“The rehab programs in almost all cases take on different stages. … The early stages for both Gooch and Charlie have been positive. We all know it’s the final stages that determine whether somebody is back and playing as good as they were before the injury.
“I know that in all these cases we’re dealing with guys who will put everything they have into their rehab and try to be back.”
BTW, all players except Kevin Alston (who has worked out on his own for the entire camp) were back on a chilly practice field today, so at least Bradley doesn’t have any other big injury concerns ahead of Saturday’s game in Carson against Honduras.
But after seeing Chivas USA striker Justin Braun manage to put the ball over the bar from all of two or three yards out this morning, it’s not like Bradley is completely worry free.
I’ll have more on the game in Tuesday’s column.