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U.S. soccer coach on injured star Davies as World Cup nears: I don't know if he'll be ready

U.S. soccer star Charlie Davies was involved in a near-fatal car accident last year and has been slowly recovering ever since.

U.S. soccer star Charlie Davies was involved in a near-fatal car accident last year and has been slowly recovering ever since.

NEW YORK -- U.S. coach Bob Bradley is uncertain whether Charlie Davis will recover enough from severe injuries sustained in a car crash last fall to earn an invitation for the Americans' pre-World Cup training camp next month.

Davies resumed full training this week with his French club, Sochaux, for the first time since an Oct. 13 accident in Virginia, The crash left the 23-year-old forward with two broken bones in his right leg, a broken and dislocated left elbow, a broken nose, forehead and eye socket, a ruptured bladder and bleeding on the brain.

"I think the fact that Charlie is that far along is great, but certainly even within the framework of being back in training, let's face it, there's different levels there," Bradley said Thursday at Major League Soccer's office.

Bradley will announce his 30-man preliminary roster on May 11 and expects to call in 26-28 players for a training camp at Princeton, New Jersey, that opens four days later. He said only 16-18 spots likely are set.

By the time the U.S. leaves for South Africa on May 30, following exhibition games against the Czech Republic (May 25) and Turkey (May 29), he will have picked a final 23-man roster, which is due to FIFA by June 1. He can make substitutions up until 24 hours before his team's World Cup opener against England on June 12.

Bradley said his fitness coach, Pierre Barrieu, speaks with Sochaux about Davies, who was publicly voiced his desire to return for the Cup, every week. National team head athletic trainer Ivan Pierra was in Europe and will visit Davies in several days for a personal update. Bradley realizes making the World Cup has been a major motivation in Davies' rehabilitation.

AC Milan defender Oguchi Onyewu is another injury concern. He hasn't played since tearing the patellar tendon in his left knee during a World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica on Oct. 15.

AC Milan said Thursday he has been alternating training on his own and with the team but still wasn't ready to play. Even before getting hurt, Onyewu appeared in just one of 10 competitive matches for AC Milan, entering as a 60th-minute substitute in a Champions League match against Zurich on Sept. 30.

"Our expectation is that it may be hard for him at the end of the year to get back into the team there, play games, but certainly good news just in terms of regular training," Bradley said.

Bradley said Schalke midfielder Jermaine Jones, sidelined with a shin injury all season, had almost run out of time to get healthy.

"If it's not going to happen for the summer, he may need to have another surgical procedure that would then get him back in time for the start of the season next year," Bradley said. "We're at that sort of cross in the road. We'll know in the next week whether there's any hope."

Bradley said Glasgow Rangers midfielder DaMarcus Beasley, a veteran of the 2002 and 2006 World Cups, was "on the radar screen" for the training camp, but "there are still clearly some questions."

"DaMarcus has been tricky in this last year," Bradley added. "He had some very good games in December, got back into the team and I think did well. And since then it's been up and down, more down certainly of late."

Midfielder Stuart Holden, who broke his right leg in a March 3 exhibition loss at the Netherlands, is close to resuming full training. Bolton manager Owen Coyle has said Holden may not be ready by his club's Premier League finale against Birmingham on May 9.

Bradley said players will be allowed to compete in club matches on May 15-16 before reporting to training camp.