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Page last updated at 18:18 GMT, Sunday, 17 January 2010

Fulham's Clint Dempsey knee injury rocks Fulham and US

Clint Dempsey
Dempsey has become an integral player for Fulham

Fulham's American winger Clint Dempsey has suffered suspected cruciate knee ligament damage, which could jeopardise his place at the 2010 World Cup.

The 26-year-old United States international was injured in the second half of Fulham's 2-0 loss to Blackburn and went to hospital for a scan.

"The initial prognosis for Clint is not good," said Fulham manager Roy Hodgson.

"It looks like he has suffered cruciate knee ligament damage, which if he has, keeps him out of action for a while."

Dempsey has been a key player for Fulham this season, making 29 appearances and scoring seven goals, and before he was injured he hit the crossbar with a spectacular overhead kick.

"We won't know for certain until the scan is completed on Monday but the doctors are pretty good these days and often their initial prognosis proves to be the correct one," added Hodgson.

606: DEBATE

Dempsey has played 44 times for the US, who play England in their opening Group C game in the World Cup in South Africa this summer.

Fulham are already without top scorer Bobby Zamora, who suffered a collarbone injury earlier this month that will leave him out of action for several weeks, and defender John Pantsil, who has a knee injury.

"It's a concern, especially up front," stated Hodgson. "We think that Clint Dempsey, as an all round player, is very useful for us. Now, with him and Zamora out, it makes us a bit weaker in that area than we'd like to be.

"Where we are strongest for cover is in midfield. We're not quite so strong in attack."

During the game against Blackburn, Fulham also lost defender Paul Konchesky with an ankle injury at half-time.

"Paul has an ankle injury, which shouldn't be as long but Toni Kallio is a cover for Konchesky so we've got cover in that area," said Hodgson.

Despite the injury worries, Hodgson said he will not panic and go out and buy someone only as cover in the current transfer window.

"It's a very difficult market at the moment and there are not that many players that are moving around and we'll be limited in terms of what we can spend," he revealed.

"I'm reluctant to go and spend money on a player who may not be, in the long term, a player who is going to make us better.

I'm still fairly confident that the team, even with the injury situation, are capable of holding their own in this division

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson

"We'll get Zamora, Dempsey and Pantsil back and maybe we'll have to accept that we'll have to do our best in the meantime with what we've got.

"I'm still fairly confident that the team, even with the injury situation, are capable of holding their own in this division and we must continue building on the good things we do and hopefully we won't be quite so vulnerable at set-plays as we have been in the last two matches."

Hodgson was disappointed to see his side defeated, with goals from Chris Samba and Ryan Nelson securing Blackburn's victory.

Fulham have now not won in the Premier League since beating Manchester United a month ago.

Hodgson said of the match at Ewood Park: "It was a strange game. We felt aggrieved when they went ahead as I thought we were playing well.

"The second was a bad goal to concede and that changed the complexion of the game. It looked offside but wasn't given."



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see also
Blackburn 2-0 Fulham
17 Jan 10 |  Premier League
Zamora suffers collarbone injury
07 Jan 10 |  Fulham
Pantsil awaits surgery decision
31 Dec 09 |  Fulham
Dempsey signs new Fulham contract
13 Aug 09 |  Fulham
Where the Premier League's players come from
17 Aug 09 |  Premier League
Fulham complete Dempsey transfer
11 Jan 07 |  Fulham


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