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Landon Donovan ruled out for World Cup qualifiers

October 09, 2012|Kevin Baxter
  • Landon Donovan injured his knee in an MLS game against Real Salt Lake.
Landon Donovan injured his knee in an MLS game against Real Salt Lake. (Victor Decolongon / Getty…)

Galaxy captain Landon Donovan will not play in the U.S. national team's World Cup qualifiers with Antigua & Barbuda and Guatemala because of a knee injury sustained in last Saturday's Major League Soccer game with Real Salt Lake.

Donovan was carried from the field on a stretcher in the 81st minute following a hard challenge from RSL's Jamison Olave. But Donovan later walked to the locker room without assistance and he felt so good the next day that he canceled a scheduled MRI and flew to Miami on Monday for the national team's camp.

However, further tests conducted Tuesday by the national team's medical staff determined Donovan's injury had not healed. He is expected to return to Los Angeles on Tuesday night.

Midfielder Brek Shea of FC Dallas was also ruled out of the next two matches with an abdominal strain sustained last month.

"It's unfortunate for Landon and Brek that they won't be able to play," U.S. Coach Juergen Klinsmann said. "Landon was optimistic over the weekend when his knee was feeling much better but now he needs time to recover."

Donovan, the leading scorer in national team history, missed the last two World Cup qualifiers with a hamstring injury. The U.S. split those matches with Jamaica and as a result it needs at least a win and a draw in its next two games — Friday in Antigua and Oct, 16 with Guatemala in Kansas City, Kansas — to be assured of advancing to the final round of regional qualifying next year.

Klinsmann indicated no immediate replacements would be called up to fill the roster spots abandoned by Donovan and Shea.

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