Watford defender Jay DeMerit is set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines following a freak injury to his eye, which has put his place in USA's World Cup squad next summer in jeopardy.
The 29-year-old had been recovering from a groin injury when the bizarre incident occurred as he cut his eye when taking out a contact lens at the team hotel, which has since become infected.
"It was a freak thing," DeMerit recently told US 'soccer' site Yanks Abroad."It only got worse and worse and I still can't see out of that eye."
DeMerit has played over 170 appearances for the Hornets since moving to Vicarge Road from non-league outfit Northwood in 2004, though he has been restricted to just five this term following the aforementioned injuries.
And now the centre-back's World Cup spot is in doubt, despite having played an integral part in the USA's run to the final of the Confederations Cup in South Africa earlier this summer.
However, DeMerit concedes that there is no point rushing recovery from an eye injury, and is instead prepared to be patient and let everything take its course.
"You just can't mess with your eyes so I'm going to manage it right and try to get better as soon as possible whether it's through surgery or another course of action," he concluded.