Car accident ends World Cup dream of US star Davies

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The Independent Online

The United States international forward Charlie Davies suffered broken bones and a lacerated bladder in a single-vehicle accident in which another person was killed on Tuesday.

Davies, who plays for the French Ligue 1 club Sochaux, underwent several hours of surgery at a Washington hospital, where he was listed in a serious but stable condition. The injuries make it unlikely Davis will play in next year's World Cup.

The tibia and femur in Davies's right leg were broken. He also sustained facial fractures and a fracture in his left elbow in the accident, which took place at about 3.15am local time in the suburbs of the US capital.

Davies will be hospitalised for at least a week and additional operations will be required to stabilise his broken elbow and may be needed to repair the facial fractures.

"Injuries of this nature usually require a recovery period of six to 12 months and extensive rehabilitation," said Dr Dan Kalbac, a US team doctor who collaborated with the doctors at the hospital. "Due to Charlie's fitness level, his prognosis for recovery and his ability to resume high-level competition is substantially improved."

The accident occurred in the southbound lanes of the George Washington Memorial Parkway in Virginia and claimed the life of 22-year-old Ashley J Roberta, of Phoenix, Maryland, according to the police.

There were three people in the vehicle, and Davies and Roberta were passengers. The police didn't identify the driver, who was also taken to hospital. The cause of the accident remains under investigation.

"Obviously, as a team we were saddened to learn this news," US coach Bob Bradley said after learning of the accident. "Our thoughts and prayers are with Charlie and his family, as well as the other person in the car and the families of the others involved... We are relying on each other in a moment that has for sure hit us all hard."

Davies was airlifted to the hospital after the accident, where a team of doctors first repaired the ruptured bladder and then inserted titanium rods in both broken leg bones. A statement released by the United States Soccer Federation said the procedure was performed "with no complications". The US team was in the Washington area for last night's World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica.

The 23-year-old Davies has four goals in 17 international appearances. He started and played 78 minutes in the Americans' 3-2 victory over Honduras on Saturday that clinched a berth in their sixth straight World Cup. He made his first appearance for the US in June 2007 as a substitute against China.

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