The D.C. United forward has been sidelined for the first weeks of the season and more information on his status is expected to emerge in the coming weeks.

D.C. United striker Eddie Johnson has failed to see the pitch during the opening weeks of the 2015 season and now it looks like the US international might have seen his last minutes as a professional.

According to the Washington Post, Johnson has been sidelined with a heart ailment which threatens to end his career and, while both the club and forward himself remain hopeful of a comeback, the chances he recovers are described as “a long shot”.

The former Fulham man is in the process of seeing various specialists across the US and more information is expected on his status before the end of this month.

The problem first came to light toward the end of last season when Johnson was hospitalized 48 hours before the second-leg of United’s Eastern Conference semi-final against the New York Red Bulls after feeling unwell, although he would go on to appear as a 60th-minute substitute in the match.

While he reported to the club’s preseason training camp in Florida this winter, United later announced that Johnson would undergo further testing and miss the entire three-week schedule, with his absence since extending into the new campaign.

Speaking in general about his star front man’s problems, head coach Ben Olsen said: “It’s a terrible situation for Eddie, but I’ve spoken with Eddie, and Eddie gets it.

“There is a potential life issue here that has to be focused on and making sure he is not putting himself in any danger to play this sport again. That is all that matters.”

Johnson, 30, scored seven goals in 26 regulars-season appearances for United in 2014 after being traded from the Seattle Sounders, where he had managed to revive his career following a testing spell in Europe.

The 63-times capped international even got back into the US setup after netting 29 times in 65 games during his two seasons in the Pacific North West, although he would miss out on a place in Jurgen Klinsmann’s 2014 World Cup for Brazil.

Before returning to MLS in 2012, the ex-FC Dallas and Kansas City Wizards star had endured a lacklustre spell across the pond with Fulham between 2008 and 2011, which saw him fail to score in 22 matches and included loan stints at Cardiff, Greek side Aris Thessaloniki and Preston North End.

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