A week after returning to the training pitch with his club team, conflicting reports have thrown American striker Charlie Davies' availability for the World Cup into question.
According to a story from Fifa.com, the medical staff of Davies' club team, Sochaux, have announced that the 23-year old striker will not be fit to compete in the upcoming World Cup, and likely won't return before the end of the team's season. But, per SI's Grant Wahl, US Soccer has denied the validity of Fifa.com's reports, and insists that nothing has changed with Davies' status -- meaning that there hasn't been a decision made either way.
As you may recall, the 23-year old Davies was the victim of a horrific car crash last October that he was lucky merely to survive, let alone be close to returning to top-class soccer so soon thereafter. Davies suffered a broken right tibia and femur, a broken left elbow, facial fractures and a lacerated bladder, and was expected to miss 6-12 months as he recuperated from his extensive injuries. Davies, however, has made an improbably rapid recovery, and refused to rule out the possibility of coming back in time for the World Cup. His return to practice with his club team at the end of April bolstered his hopes of getting back into form in time for the World Cup, but the nearly six months that he has been sidelined would seem to make such a return unlikely. Indeed, his club team has little incentive to lie about his status for the World Cup, and it seems more likely than not that Davies and US Soccer are hoping to delay the inevitable in deciding that he won't be able to play.
Still, Davies has shown throughout this saga that his ability to recover and his resolve to get back on the pitch should not be underestimated. We'll keep you updated on his progress.