The Seattle Sounders officially announce the end of Clint Dempsey’s season, but uncertainty still surrounds his future playing career.
It turns out that Clint Dempsey’s return to light training a couple of weeks ago was somewhat of a false dawn. As confirmed by the Seattle Sounders on Tuesday, his season is over.
Speaking to the media, general manager Garth Lagerwey said: “We (explained) a couple of weeks ago that Clint Dempsey’s health was our priority.
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“Unfortunately, we are going to rule him out for the rest of the season…We simply haven’t been able to get to a point where we felt comfortable there was a realistic chance (that he could play again in 2016).
“We are not comfortable putting any kind of pressure on this. His return to play is not important, relative to his health both short-term and long-term and we feel by ruling him out today, it puts us in the best position to eventually get him back, hopefully for the 2017 season.”
The announcement confirmed what had been rumored, after Dempsey was once again absent from training last week. The speculation only increased, when the Sounders tweeted last Thursday that an on-record statement was coming, only for the tweet to then be deleted.
The 33-year old has been out of action since being diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat last month. Shortly after, he underwent a procedure to address the condition.
Moving forward, Largerwey also admitted there will no further update until preseason camp next year: “By that point, we are hopeful that Clint will be able to make a return, but again, we feel this is the best thing for (him) and the best way to get him healthy.”
For some, the information supplied is not enough, but in defense of the Sounders, they are bound by medical privacy issues. All anyone can do now is hope Dempsey regains full fitness, although the main priority remains that he can live a normal and healthy life.
For what it’s worth, the Sounders are 2-1-1 since the Nacogdoches, Texas native’s diagnosis. Further, he has missed 42 percent of their games through suspensions, injuries and international call-ups, since joining the club in 2013.
Of course, this does not take away from Dempsey’s importance to the roster, having scored 34 goals and added 22 assists in 72 regular season appearances. At least the Sounders have already shown they can survive without him, as evidenced by their stunning 4-2 win at the weekend in Los Angeles.
Now, we wait to find out if Seattle can continue to perform for the remaining five games, and secure a playoff spot. The challenge continues on Wednesday night, at home to the Chicago Fire.
How confident are you in the Sounders’ ability to continue getting positive results in the absence of Dempsey? Further, do you see them qualifying for the playoffs or do you believe they will fall short? Let us know in the comments section below.