- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 11, 2004

D.C. United star midfielder Bobby Convey could miss four to six weeks with a strained left hamstring.

With the European leagues transfer window opening Monday, Convey might have played his last game in a United uniform. Worldwide interest in the 20-year-old midfielder has increased as a result of his play with the U.S. men’s national team. Convey has started four of the five U.S. games this year.

English Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur tried to acquire Convey last year, but the British government refused to issue Convey a work permit and the transfer fell through.

“I’m not allowed to talk about that right now,” said Dan Segal, Convey’s Bethesda-based agent.

Convey was injured in the 25th minute of Saturday’s 1-1 tie against the last-place Columbus Crew. United coach Peter Nowak said the team might fly Convey to Switzerland to see a specialist for his hamstring.

“I’m going to call a couple of guys, friends of mine in Europe, and see what I can do to bring him back very fast,” Nowak said. “Maybe he will fly over there this weekend, not to wait three or four weeks, but only a couple of days.”

Nowak said he pulled his hamstring once and was back in five days with the help of his Swiss friends and said the normal recovery time after receiving treatment from them is seven to 10 days. Convey was unavailable to comment yesterday.

In a worst-case scenario, Nowak said he would expect Convey to be out until June5 when United plays at Chicago. With a two-leg U.S. World Cup qualifier against Grenada on June13 in Columbus, Ohio, and June20 in Grenada, that would make another two weeks that Convey is gone.

“In the best-case scenario, he’s going to play in the New England game [on May[ThSp]29], maybe earlier,” Nowak said.

If Major League Soccer doesn’t play hardball with the European clubs over Convey’s transfer fee, United’s versatile midfielder could head across the Atlantic to begin training with his new club right after the second Grenada game.

Meanwhile, reserve forward Ronald Cerritos asked to be traded because of his lack of playing time. Cerritos went to Nowak with the request, but United’s first-year coach told his Salvadoran striker to be patient and promised to start him Saturday against the Kansas City Wizards (2-1-2) at RFK Stadium.

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