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Chandler's knee injury a blow to US depth

AP - Sports

Timmy Chandler became the latest World Cup hopeful to suffer an injury setback over the weekend, another potential blow to the U.S. team's depth as it prepares for a friendly at Ukraine next month.

Chandler, a defender for Nuremberg in the German Bundesliga, injured his left knee early in Saturday's game against Bayern Munich.

Nuremberg later posted on the club's Twitter account that the 23-year-old had torn his meniscus and will miss 8-10 weeks following surgery. That puts Chandler out of action likely until mid-April at the earliest, leaving him only a few opportunities to impress U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann before Nuremberg's season ends.

Chandler, with two assists and one goal this season for Nuremberg, was one of the European-based players Klinsmann mentioned in a recent interview on the U.S. Soccer Federation website.

The German-born defender played in only one game last year for the U.S. national team, but he has seen action in 10 games overall in his career. Klinsmann - while discussing European players making their cases for World Cup roster spots - said he had done a ''very consistent, good job'' over the last six months.

Chandler is one of several American overseas hopefuls who have dealt with injures in recent weeks, including Fabian Johnson, Aron Johannsson, Steve Cherundolo, Jermaine Jones and Oguchi Onyewu .

Other developments:

JOHNSON'S MOVEMENT: While Chandler's spot on the World Cup roster was already uncertain before his injury, Johnson continued to make news over the last week - even while not playing. The midfielder and defender will transfer from Hoffenheim at the end of the season, his Bundesliga club announced. Reports have linked another German club, Borussia Moenchengladbach, with Johnson - who has dressed but not played in each of the last two weeks following a broken hand against Nuremberg on Jan. 25. Wherever the versatile 26-year-old ends up, he'll likely have the opportunity to shine on the international stage at the World Cup before then. Johnson played in eight games, starting all eight, for the U.S. during World Cup qualifying last year.

MISSING DEMPSEY: U.S. captain Clint Dempsey, on loan from Seattle of Major League Soccer, was inactive for the second straight game with Fulham on Wednesday. Dempsey, who has struggled to find his form and playing time during his return to the English Premiere League, also didn't dress on Sunday against Manchester United. He's been inactive for three of Fulham's last six games - and the 30-year-old has yet to score since first being eligible to play on Jan. 1. The native Texan scored 23 goals for Fulham two seasons ago before transferring to Tottenham last season.

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