Donovan set for weekend return to LA training camp

Landon Donovan in action for Everton on loan

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CARSON, Calif. — Landon Donovan's stay with Everton will end one week earlier than originally scheduled.

LA Galaxy coach Bruce Arena told reporters on Tuesday that his team's captain will return to Los Angeles on Sunday, the day after Everton's FA Cup fixture against Blackpool.

"Donovan comes back Sunday," Arena said. "He will be with us for a bit in Tucson before he heads out with the national team."

Loaned out to Everton for the second time in three years, Donovan was scheduled to remain with the Toffees until Feb. 25, which would allow him to play in the club's match against Liverpool. That match, however, was moved to a further date due to Liverpool's Carling Cup showdown against Cardiff, and instead of playing the Merseyside Derby, Donovan will be with the Galaxy for a Desert Diamond Cup match.

The Galaxy leave for Tucson, Ariz., next week and will play three matches against MLS competition as part of the Desert Diamond Cup. The club will play New England (Feb. 22), Real Salt Lake (Feb. 25) and New York (Feb. 29) in the desert before playing another match on March 3 – either a consolation game or the final. The United States national team will play at Italy on Feb. 29, meaning Donovan could be available for the first two games in Tucson and possibly the last match as well.

On March 7, the Galaxy will visit Toronto FC in a CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal match before returning home to start the season against Real Salt Lake on March 10.

Luis Bueno covers the LA Galaxy for MLSsoccer.com and can be reached by e-mail at buenodad@gmail.com