World Cup: LA Galaxy's Bruce Arena says Omar Gonzalez injury "a short-term issue"
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy hadn't heard word on the extent of Omar Gonzalez's knee injury by the end of Tuesday's training session, but head coach Bruce Arena said he could “promise” that it's not serious and will not jeopardize the big center back's World Cup plans.
Gonzalez, expected to be among the 30 players on the preliminary US roster for Brazil that Jurgen Klinsmann will announce next week, departed at halftime of the Galaxy's 1-0 loss Saturday night at Colorado after hurting his left knee – the one that was surgically repaired in 2012 – in a non-contact situation.
Gonzalez had headed the ball forward and was retreating to do so again when he took a slight stumble and then noticeably limped. He was sitting on the Galaxy bench during the second half.
“We don't [have an update],” Arena said following Tuesday's training session at StubHub Center. “We're going to talk to the doctors today and find out a little bit more, but I think it's a very short-term issue and he's going to be fine.”
Asked if there were fears the injury could cost Gonzalez an opportunity to play in Brazil, Arena was dismissive.
“I strongly doubt that's going to be the case,” he said. “I feel strongly about the fact this is a short-term issue and he'll be fine. ... There's nothing long-term with his injury, I can promise you that.”
Gonzalez was not on the field Tuesday and wasn't made available to media. A Galaxy representative said he was working inside StubHub, where the gym and trainers' rooms are located.
The 6-foot-5 center back, who partnered Sporting Kansas City's Matt Besler in central defense through much of the final round in World Cup qualifying, was expected to play his final game Sunday at the Portland Timbers before departing for US camp.
Arena said Providence Park's turf, generally considered the best artificial surface in MLS, likely wouldn't determine whether Gonzalez would play if he's capable.
“If Omar is good to go, he'll go. If not, he won't. It's that simple,” Arena said. “I don't think it's the turf [that determines whether he plays]. Obviously, all things being equal, then maybe it does play a role, but right now we're going to take it day by day, we're going to talk to the doctors and make sure we're moving along in the right way.”