[AMERICANS ABROAD]Fulham's Clint Dempsey suffered a knee injury during Fulham's 2-0 loss at Blackburn on Sunday.
The 26-year-old attacker, who had hit the woodwork with an acrobatic overhead kick earlier in the game, is suspected to have cruciate knee ligament damage.
Dempsey's injury is a blow for the overachieving Cottagers and could jeopardize his appearance at the 2010 World Cup.
"The initial prognosis for Clint is not good," Fulham coach Roy Hodgson told the BBC . "It looks [like] he has suffered cruciate knee ligament damage, which if he has keeps him out of action for a while.
"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."
Dempsey, who has scored seven goals in 25 appearances for Fulham, scored four goals for the USA in 2009, including three during the USA's runner-up finish at the Confederations Cup. His absence in South Africa would be a major blow to the USA, which will most likely also be without striker Charlie Davies, who suffered severe injuries in an October car accident.
Dempsey has scored 17 goals in 60 appearances for the USA, which he represented at the 2006 World Cup, where he started in the 1-1 tie with Italy and the 2-1 loss to Ghana. He scored the U.S. goal against Ghana.
Dempsey's injury is a serious blow to Fulham, which recently lost Bobby Zamora with a dislocated collarbone.