Beckham returns to LA training, weekend status unclear

LA Galaxy midfielder David Beckham

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CARSON, Calif. – David Beckham was back on the training field Tuesday morning, seeing full action in his first session with the LA Galaxy since he sprained his ankle in a game early in September.

The English star participated in a small-sided scrimmage, according to the club, and ran sprints with teammates during the latter part of practice after media was allowed to enter. But head coach Bruce Arena had nothing to say about whether he might play Sunday at Colorado.

“David is back in training. Yes,” Arena said following Tuesday's session at the Home Depot Center. “Good to see him back on the field, yep. ... Day-to-day is the plan.”

The hope is he will be ready for the Rapids, right?

“We'll see,” he said. “Just going to take it day-to-day right now.”

Beckham, who turned his left ankle in a 2-0 win over Vancouver on Sept. 1, spent the past three weeks doing rehab work in Santa Monica and in gym and rehab sessions in the bowels of the Home Depot Center.

He missed three games, including MLS home victories Sept. 14 over Colorado and the 4-2 triumph Saturday night against Toronto FC, which vaulted the Galaxy to second place in the Western Conference. He also missed last week's scorless draw at Puerto Rico on CONCACAF Champions League action, a match he likely wouldn't have played in regardless of his fitness.

Beckham, who scored the MLS Goal of the Week for Week 26 on a free kick in his last appearance, showed no signs of discomfort, nor that he was favoring the left ankle as he sprinted and later greeted and posed for pictures with a US Army soccer team invited to watch training.

He was not made available for comment, but teammates were happy to see him.

“Can only help, right?” fellow midfielder Mike Magee said. “Getting David Beckham back? I don't think that hurts you at all. Obviously, we always miss him on the field, but we've taken care of business while he's been gone, and the team's getting better.”

When Beckham is back in the lineup, whether in Colorado or the following weekend at home against Real Salt Lake, Arena will have decisions to make in midfield. Juninho and Marcelo Sarvas have quickly built a strong central partnership, but Sarvas likely moves to the flank, given Juninho's form and history as Beckham's foil. Sarvas, Magee, newcomer Christian Wilhelmsson, and even rising second-year winger Hector Jiménez are in the mix for the wide positions.

“Everybody is in good form,” Magee noted. “It's not like you can be pissed [if you go to the bench]. And David's a good player, too. I think he deserves to play.”