LA Galaxy's Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane uncertain for Saturday's clash vs. Real Salt Lake
CARSON, Calif. -- Landon Donovan isn't certain for the LA Galaxy's game Saturday night at Real Salt Lake (7:30 pm ET, watch FREE MLS Stream of the Week on MLSsoccer.com), and Robbie Keane also could miss the showdown between Western Conference giants because of injury.
Donovan, who is dealing with a leg strain sustained in last weekend's victory over Sporting Kansas City, hasn't trained this week. Keane is still bothered by an ankle injury, and he departed Thursday's practice early, accompanied by the Galaxy's trainer.
“We're still sort of getting our legs back from a number of games and travel,” associate head coach Dave Sarachan said following Thursday's session at the Home Depot Center. “Robbie's had a little bit of an issue with his ankle, and I think he was just being a little bit precautionary in making sure he didn't push it too much. ... Landon's still dealing with a little bit of a leg strain, and we're being cautious.”
Keane, who said before the Sporting game that his sprained left ankle was about 90 percent, postponed his scheduled media session until Friday. Donovan said he was “hopeful” he'd be ready to go Saturday, “but we'll see.”
Donovan, who said he hurt his right leg as he “sprinted and reached for a ball,” had put in extra work last week as he seeks full fitness and form following a four-month sabbatical. Might he have pushed too hard?
“I did a lot of work last week in the gym and pushing myself on the field, because I really wanted to get fit and ready, so potentially it's a factor. It's hard to know,” he said. “I, like everyone, put in a lot of work over the last couple of weeks, so we're going to be careful and make sure everything's OK.”
Sarachan, who addressed the media Thursday in place of head coach Bruce Arena, acknowledged “there's a possibility” neither will start. He said Keane “may have tweaked” his ailing ankle, “but I think he'll probably start.”
If Keane is unavailable, the Galaxy would likely team teens Jose Villarreal, who is training this week at HDC with the US under-20 national team, and Jack McBean.
“[Keane has] been iffy for a long time now with the ankle, and he's played through it,” Donovan said. “He's a tough guy. This is probably the same as any week, and hopefully he's OK to go.”
Arena has a number of options in midfield if Donovan can't play. He was stationed on the right and left flanks against Sporting, then switched to forward for the final 25 minutes.
“We're taking it day by day [with Donovan],” Sarachan said. “Likely, once we get closer, in the next day, 24 hours, 48 hours, [we'll] make that decision with Landon.”