GALAXY: No Beckham, Donovan? Maybe
April, 5, 2012
By Scott French | ESPNLosAngeles.com
Stephen Dunn/Getty ImagesLandon Donovan, left, and David Beckham may or may not play Saturday. Coach Bruce Arena wasn't saying.
CARSON -- Landon Donovan returned to training this week. David Beckham missed Thursday morning's session. Both are dealing with injuries that could keep them from playing in this weekend's showdown at Sporting Kansas City.
Donovan hopes to return from a quadriceps strain, among other ailments, that kept him out of last week's 3-1 loss to New England, but neither he nor Beckham are definites to travel Friday or play Saturday against K.C. (4-0-0), MLS's overall leader.
“I'm doing all right,” Donovan reported after Thursday's practice at Home Depot Center. “I think it's been a better week than last week, and we're hopeful for Saturday.”
Head coach Bruce Arena said nearly the same thing: “We're hopeful. We'll see how it all plays out.”
Donovan appears in better shape than does Beckham, who is dealing with a reported hamstring strain among other things.
“David has an assortment of nagging injuries,” Arena said. “Just been smart about getting him the right kind of rest and working him in the gym.”
The exact injuries? Where does the hamstring fit into this?
“Don't even know the exact pecking order of the injury list,” said Arena, whose team is 1-2-0. “I'll leave it at that. Our trainer's dealt with a few things.”
Asked if he was confident Beckham could play, Arena replied: “Haven't made a decision.” Will he make the trip to Kansas? “Haven't decided.”
There were hints he won't be available at the end of Thursday's session, during the part of training open to media. Robbie Keane and Mike Magee practiced free kicks from just outside the box, but Marcelo Sarvas -- who buried a brilliant free kick in preseason loss to New York in Tucson -- didn't join them.
“David is very [important] to what we're trying to do here, obviously, with free kicks and the assists he produces every year,” Keane said. “It's up to the players now who when David's out to take responsibility and take the chance and make the most of it.”
If that means he takes responsibility for set pieces, Keane is cool with that.
“I try to take free kicks as much as I can,” he said, “but when David's there, he's the man for free kicks. If David's not there, then it's up to someone else to take the responsibility. I'm very happy to do that.”
Donovan says his quad injury is not related to the quad injury that slowed him down and at times sidelined him the latter part of last season, but he's not certain whether he'll be ready to go Saturday.
“You never know how injuries go,” he said. “It's literally day to day, and you just see how it goes. … There's a fine line. You want to make sure you're not putting any players in harm's way. You have to be smart how you approach things, and Bruce is very good about that with me.”
WORTH NOTING: Saturday's game begins at 1 p.m. PT and will be telecast live on ESPN. ESPN Deportes will show the game at 6 p.m. … Josh Saunders is up for MLS's Save of the Week award for his diving first-half stop on a Chris Tierney blast from 30 yards. Online voting ends Thursday at 11:59 p.m. PT. … Home Grown forward Jack McBean has been called into the April 9-16 U.S. under-20 national team camp in Portland, Ore. So has Galaxy Academy defender Jeffrey Payeras (Hawthorne/Animo Leadership HS). … McBean scored in the Galaxy Academy's 2-1 victory over Madrid-based Rayo Vallecano in advance of the Real Sociedad XXVII Youth Invitational Tournament in Spain. … The Galaxy's official injury list: Defenders Omar Gonzalez (ACL tear) and Leonardo (ACL and LCL tears) and goalkeeper Brian Perk (sports hernia) are out; Donovan, Magee (adductor tightness), defender Bryan Jordan (hamstring strain), and forwards Adam Cristman (concussion) and Pat Noonan (hip flexor tightness) are questionable. Beckham is not listed. The updated list is due Friday.