Galaxy activate Omar Gonzalez off DL

Updated: July 3, 2012, 7:46 PM ET
By Scott French | ESPNLosAngeles.com

CARSON, Calif. -- All that talk about the Galaxy taking their time and not rushing Omar Gonzalez back into action? Forget about it.

L.A. activated the big center back from the disabled list Tuesday, and he will be available for selection Wednesday night when the Galaxy takes on the Philadelphia Union at Home Depot Center.

Gonzalez, Major League Soccer's Defender of the Year last season, played 45 minutes in a scrimmage Monday morning against the Galaxy's U-17/18 Academy team, his first game action since he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in January.

Head coach Bruce Arena has preached patience during Gonzalez's rehabilitation and last week said "we're kind of taking it a day at a time. We don't want to rush it too early, but he's getting to a point now where he can considered in the near future to be on our roster."

Gonzalez, who returned to full training about 2 weeks ago, was hurt during his first training session on loan to German Bundesliga club FC Nuremberg. He underwent surgery Jan. 13 and had been expected to return to the field in August or September.

He said Monday that his timetable was "a moving target -- we still don't know yet" and that "the end of this month or maybe next month is my goal. But you never know. Maybe I'll surprise you guys."

Gonzalez, 23, was MLS's Rookie of the Year in 2009 and a Best XI selection in 2010, and last year he anchored the Galaxy's league-best defense as the club won MLS Cup and Supporters' Shield titles. The Galaxy has struggled defensively most of this season and are 6-9-2 halfway through their schedule.

Galaxy forward Adam Cristman, who also was on the disabled list, announced Tuesday afternoon he was retiring because of concussions. He last played May 2.

Central defenders Leonardo (reinjured his knee last month after returning from torn ligaments) and Andrew Boyens (sports-hernia surgery) remain on the DL.

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