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Landon Donovan misses first USA practice to have knee evaluated

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Landon Donovan was called up despite hurting his knee on Saturday, but he missed the team's first practice on Tuesday to undergo tests.

Kevork Djansezian - Getty Images

The United States' injury problems seemed to get a little better on Monday when Landon Donovan was named to the roster for upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Antigua and Barbuda and Guatemala, but it appears that the knee injury that had his status in doubt is still a concern. At the very least, it is enough of an issue that the U.S. medical staff wanted to take another look at it because he was held out of practice on Tuesday to undergo tests on that troublesome knee.

Donovan injured his knee on Saturday night in the LA Galaxy's 2-1 loss to Real Salt Lake. He was tackled late in the match and came down hard on his knee. He was substituted off soon after and limped to the locker room, where after the match he told reporters that his status for the U.S. qualifiers was "TBD" (to be determined).

The midfielder's inclusion on the roster indicated that it was determined he was okay, but maybe not. The results of Tuesday's tests are still unknown and he may be just fine, but missing a training session will always crank up the worry machine.

If Donovan cannot play, Graham Zusi becomes the most obvious candidate to start on the right. He can try to rekindle that great relationship he had with Steve Cherundolo against Jamaica in Columbus, but even after Danny Williams' standout performance centrally in that match, Jurgen Klinsmann has not ruled out pushing him back out to the right.

There is also the possibility of playing without any true wide players. Donovan's absence could mean three central midfielders, all playing centrally, and two strikers and Clint Dempsey underneath them.

Of course, Donovan could be just fine and all of this is for naught.