CARSON, Calif. – Robbie Keane is back on the field with the LA Galaxy after spending nearly all of the first three weeks in preseason camp wrapping up his rehabilitation following offseason surgeries on both Achilles' injuries.
He won't travel north to Fresno for Saturday's friendly with California Clasico rivals San Jose, but expects to see action when the Galaxy face UCLA on Wednesday and the White-Blue game against the club's USL PRO side the following weekend at StubHub Center.
“It's nice to be back 100 percent and feel like I was 10 years ago,” said Keane, who trained the past week with Galaxy II and played 30 minutes in the USL team's intrasquad game last weekend. “Everything's gone good so far. I feel great. It's nice to wake up in the morning without any pain, and it's just nice to come out training and train at the very start without having any pain.”
Thursday's session was largely about fitness, so Keane hasn't begun to work with strikers Rob Friend and Samuel, who joined LA last month. He's looking forward to building chemistry with them and Swedish winger Stefan Ishizaki, another new acquisition.
“It won't be all that different because when me and Landon [Donovan] play together up front we kind of alternate anyway – I drop off, he drops off,” Keane said. “These two guys, they're more out-and-out strikers, will stay higher up and give me license to come in that hole and get on the ball and try to make things happen. It's a little different in terms of the way me and Landon have played [together] before, but it isn't different in the way that I've played before.”
Having a target forward as a partner will “take a lot of pressure off myself and Landon, if he plays up there,” Keane said. “Samuel, especially, runs in behind so maybe the center halves are going to have to drop off, and that will give me license [to exploit space in front of opposing defenders]. Rob is different. He stays up front, he's not going to get in behind, he's going to hold the ball up and be strong and bring other people in to play.”
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Keane has worked on his fitness while rehabbing the Achilles tendons and now wants to address his game fitness.
“I've done everything I needed to do [fitness-wise],” he said. “[Now I need] more game fitness and playing and getting involved with the sessions with the team, so you get your fitness and sharpness from that.”