I heard that Sui/Han will be ready to compete at Worlds via chatter at 4CC, and I'd think Pang/Tong are alright, too. But even so-- the US either needs a 5th and at least 8th or 6th and 7th to get three spots. With Savchenko/Szolkowy, Volosozhar/Trankov, Duhamel/Radford, Moore-Towers/Moscovitch, and then pick any two healthy/having a great day of Berton/Hotarek, Kavaguti/Smirnov, Bazarova/Larionov, Pang/Tong, Sui/Han, and even James/Cipres, I just don't see how anyone thinks 13 or less can truly happen. I think even one team in the top 8 or 9 would be a great accomplishment.Agreed. A lot of it would depend on which Chinese pairs actually go to Worlds and how competition-ready they would be (not that the Chinese federation would ever 'encourage' them to show up if they're not fully recovered ahem ). In case both P/T and S/H are out, that would open up the field a bit. Factor in K/S and B/L dealing with injuries, as well and who knows what might happen? Obviously, those 3 spots would depend on much better pairs not showing up to Worlds, not so much anything skating-related. 2 spots is doable, regardless of who competes.
ETA- remember that both American teams have potential of starting #1 and #2 in the short program, as neither are in the top half of the rankings. As much as we'd like to think the start order has no correlation to placements/specifically PCS (or are we past that point?), they might find themselves at a big deficit following the first segment.