CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy could have a full squad for its first derby with LAFC Saturday (3 pm ET | FOX), Sigi Schmid says, but there's no certainty that the the four injured starters – winger Romain Alessandrini, central midfielders Giovani and Jonathan Dos Santos, and center back Michael Ciani – will actually be available.
The quartet trained all week, but wasn't always fully involved, and Schmid told media following Friday morning's session that all would be evaluated later in the day and decisions would be made afterward.
“We're going to have to evaluate, and we'll see,” he said. “There's physical and there's also mentality [to consider]. ... Nobody's ruled out at this stage.”
Alessandrini and Giovani dos Santos suffered hamstring injuries and Ciani aggravated an old abductor ailment in the Galaxy's loss at New York City FC three weeks ago, and Jonathan dos Santos hurt his hamstring in a closed-door scrimmage the following week. The dos Santos brothers missed two Mexico friendlies as a result, and all missed the Galaxy's scoreless draw last weekend in Vancouver.
“It's a game I want to play – every player wants to play in this kind of game – but we're not going to risk the future for tomorrow,” Jona dos Santos said.
“My mind is telling me I will play,” he added in Spanish. “But it's my body that will speak for me.”
Alessandrini said he's improved greatly, but that he's not sure he can be ready for LAFC.
“I feel I need maybe more confidence, but I feel much better, so it's a good sign for next week ...,” he said. “I'm very frustrated because I gave a lot for the preseason, to be ready to go. I get this injury a few weeks ago, but I work hard to come back as soon as possible.
“Now I'm glad to be back, and hopefully next week [against Sporting Kansas City at StubHub Center], maybe tomorrow, but for sure next week I'm going to be there.”
Ciani earlier this week said he thought it was likelier he'd be ready for the game against Sporting. If he's unavailable to start, Daniel Steres, who was on MLS's Team of the Week for last weekend, would again team with Jorgen Skjelvik in the center. Giovani dos Santos was not made available to media this week.
“We definitely have some guys back ... and that's a plus for us,” Schmid said. “It's a big game tomorrow, and it's a game where we need guys and we want guys who want to play. That's important.
“It's early in the season, so you don't want to risk [the players' health by bringing them back too soon]. You don't want to make any stupid decisions. You want guys who are committed to play.”