[WORLD CUP 2010 COUNTDOWN]
Following knee surgery Wednesday in Los Angeles to repair a ruptured patellar tendon in his left knee, American defender Oguchi Onyewu
's rehabilitation process could be as long as six months -- a period that could jeopardize his chances of representing the USA at the 2010 World
Onyewu, who landed awkwardly on his knee late in the USA's qualifier against Costa Rica on Oct. 14, was initially projected to face a his recovery period of three-four
months. The new estimate came after national team physician Dr. Bert Mandelbaum
operated on Onyewu.
A six-month layoff would mean Onyewu could
be ready to return to action for AC Milan in mid-April -- just a month before the Serie A season ends May 9.
The loss of Onyewu, the USA's most indispensable defender, would
be severe blow. His absence from the home qualifier against El Salvador in September -- the only Hexagonal game he missed -- was certainly felt.
Onyewu's injury came a day after
forward Charlie Davies
' chances of playing in the World Cup were almost certainly wiped out when he sustained serious injuries in a car crash.
As it is, Jay DeMeri
t, Onyewu's partner in the middle of the U.S. defense during its strong Confederations Cup run, just had a cornea replacement
operation and is also sidelined.