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By ESPN Staff
Jan 19, 2010

U.S. midfielder Dempsey won't need surgery

LONDON -- The U.S. soccer team got good news Tuesday when Fulham said Clint Dempsey's injured right knee won't need surgery.

The 26-year-old attacker from Nacogdoches, Texas, was injured during Sunday's English Premier League game at Blackburn, and Fulham manager Roy Hodgson had feared Dempsey had torn his posterior cruciate ligament.

"Early indications are positive in that no operation is required," the Cottagers said in a statement Tuesday after Dempsey had an MRI. "At this stage it is thought that the injury will not prevent him from featuring for Fulham prior to the end of the season."

The U.S. team is already dealing with major injuries to defender Oguchi Onyewu, who is recovering from knee surgery, and forward Charlie Davies, who broke two bones in his right leg and had a lacerated bladder in a car crash.

"The news about Clint's injury is positive, especially given the fact that he will not require surgery," U.S. coach Bob Bradley said. "We are confident that Clint will be ready to be an important part of our team during the World Cup."

Dempsey, a midfielder and forward, has become one of the best attacking options for the U.S. team, which plays England, Slovenia and Algeria in the first round of the World Cup. He has 17 goals in 60 international appearances for the U.S. and seven goals this season for Fulham, including six in the Premier League.

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