Seattle Sounders star and United States national team standout Clint Dempsey will miss the rest of the Major League Soccer season due to an irregular heartbeat, the Sounders announced Tuesday.
Dempsey has been sidelined since late August due to the issue. He was cleared for light training on Sept. 14 in hopes of returning this season but halted workouts last week.
"We simply haven't got to a point where we were comfortable that there was a realistic chance," Seattle general manager Garth Lagerwey said in a statement about Dempsey's possible return. "As we said in the first round of comments, we are not comfortable putting any kind of pressure on this. His return to play is not important relative to his health, both short- and long-term.
"We feel by ruling him out today it puts us in the best position to get him back hopefully for the start of the 2017 season."
The 33-year-old Dempsey reportedly underwent an unspecified procedure designed to help alleviate the issue.
The health situation will prevent him from being available for two World Cup qualifying matches for the U.S. National team in November.
Dempsey, who has eight goals this year, has one season remaining on his contract with Seattle.
Dempsey's 52 goals rank second all-time behind Landon Donovan in national team history. He has 34 goals in 72 career matches with the Sounders.