Chicharito gets green light: LA Galaxy star "ready to go to Houston"  

Chicharito health update

The LA Galaxy could stand to gain a key reinforcement in attack for MLS Matchday 7.

Star forward Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez is clear to travel with the team for the Galaxy's Saturday fixture at Houston Dynamo FC (7:30 pm ET | MLS Season Pass), head coach Greg Vanney told reporters on Wednesday, with an eye towards a 2023 season debut. The decorated Mexico international has been sidelined to start the campaign with a hamstring injury suffered in preseason.

"He's ready to go to Houston," Vanney said of Chicharito's status. "Now it's just [about] building up his match minutes, 11-v-11, and covering territory, repetition. Playing for five minutes is different than playing 90 minutes. So it's just doing some of that. But he looks sharp, he looks good, getting repetitions in front of goal now because when you have a hamstring injury you can't do a lot of things obviously in front of goal at intensity and high speed.

"So now it's just repetition and getting him ready. But he'll certainly train full all week, he's trained partially in some last sessions, so he's got enough under his belt and his fitness level is good. So now it's just, again, match fitness."

Chicharito's return comes at an opportune moment for the Galaxy, who have struggled with finishing to start the season, putting up just three goals in five matches despite regularly generating quality chances. When healthy, Chicharito has been one of the most efficient strikers in MLS at putting away those types of looks over the last two years, with 35 goals in his last 53 matches dating back to the start of 2021.

The Galaxy enter Matchday 7 with a 0W-2L-3D record (3 points) that leaves them 12th in the Western Conference table.