Seattle Sounders and U.S. men's national team star Clint Dempsey has returned to training in a limited capacity after receiving treatment for an irregular heartbeat, his club announced Wednesday.
Dempsey, 33, was ruled out with the diagnosis at the end of August. He still has not been cleared to play in games, according to Sounders general manager Garth Lagerwey, who added that Dempsey underwent an undisclosed procedure "to address some of the issues [of his irregular heartbeat]" and that he is "cautiously optimistic" that Dempsey will be cleared to return to action before the end of the season.
Lagerwey: We're not at liberty to discuss anything further from medical perspective. We're cautiously optimistic he could return this season— Sounders Beat (@SoundersBeat) September 14, 2016
Lagerwey: When Clint feels better and the doctors consider it safe, then we will consider his return to play— Sounders Beat (@SoundersBeat) September 14, 2016
Lagerwey on next steps: We have protocol to bring him back and allow him to begin exercising in a safe manner and we'll follow it constantly— Sounders Beat (@SoundersBeat) September 14, 2016
Lagerwey: You can't just say 'Clint's important to us.' You have to mean it. And that means Clint's health comes first.— Sounders Beat (@SoundersBeat) September 14, 2016
Dempsey, the USA's second leading all-time scorer with 52 international goals, has eight goals and two assists this season, and he has missed the last three games for Seattle, which is 0-1-2 in that time.