Clint Dempsey Injury Update: US Forward to Play Trough Broken Nose, Will Start Against Portugal

The U.S. Soccer Federation says captain Clint Dempsey should be able to play in Sunday’s World Cup game against Portugal despite a broken nose.

Dempsey scored 30 seconds into Monday’s 2-1 win over Ghana.

He was later bloodied by a shin to the face from defender John Boye when they battled for a header in the 33rd minute.

U.S. team spokesman Michael Kammarman said Tuesday it had not been determined whether Dempsey would need to play with a mask.

Dempsey felt the impact of the hard hit from Boye, who was not given a yellow card.

“I just had trouble breathing,” Dempsey told the NY Daily News. “I was coughing up blood out there. I did get a little bit tired. Hopefully I can start breathing through my nose before the next game.”

Dempsey will definitely return, and is sorely needed, after Jozy Altidore strained his left hamstring during the game.

Altidore and defender Matt Besler went for scans Tuesday after coming out of the game with hamstring problems. Altidore injured his left leg during the first half, and Besler came out at halftime after feeling soreness in his right leg.

“It was really tough for me,” Altidore said. “I was crushed. I knew right away I couldn’t continue.”

Besides Dempsey and Altidore, the U.S team has two forwards–Aron Johannsson, who subbed in for Altidore after the injury, and Chris “Wondo” Wondolowski. 

Johannsson will likely get the start on Sunday, June 22 against Portugal, although his relatively poor play might prompt coach Jurgen Klinsmann to try out Wondolowski.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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