Sigi Schmid optimistic Romain Alessandrini injury is not long-term

Romain Alessandrini -- closeup -- 2018 opener

CARSON, Calif. -- Romain Alessandrini's ailing hamstring will keep him out of the LA Galaxy's game Sunday at New York City FC (5pm ET | MLS LIVE), but perhaps no longer than that.

In the meantime, Sebastian Lletget looks like the best option to replace him on the right, fresh off his own return following a foot injury that kept him out almost a year.

Alessandrini, LA's MVP last season after playing a direct role in 31 goals last season, hurt his right hamstring in the 59th minute of last weekend's 2-1 victory over the Portland Timbers. He netted the Galaxy's second goal.

“Romain's got a little bit of a hamstring strain, so he went back to the doctor today,” coach Sigi Schmid said following training Wednesday at StubHub Center. “So we'll have a better idea of what the long-term prognosis is. Right now, it looks like he's not available for New York, but there's a good chance he could be available in Vancouver.”

The Galaxy have a week off following this weekend's match before visiting the Vancouver Whitecaps on March 24.

Chris Pontius, who replaced Alessandrini against the Timbers, missed Wednesday's practice after he suffered what Schmid called “a freakish injury” in Sunday's game.

“He got kneed [in the rear end], and so it's just got to loosen up,” Schmid said. “[The training staff] wanted to keep him inside and have him do all of his stuff inside today. He could have maybe come out with us, but they wanted to give him one more day inside.”

Emmanuel Boateng, who starts on the left flank, left training early with tightness in his hamstring, but he's expecting to be back on the field Thursday.

Lletget played in five preseason games and made his official return to the field in the 72nd minute against Portland, coming on for Giovani dos Santos. Schmid and his staff have limited Lletget's action since the start of preseason and don't expect him to be at his best until May or June.

“Losing a player like [Romain], who leaves it all on the pitch, for an important game, it's not ideal, obviously,” Lletget said. “But if I have to fill in, I'm ready for it. It's a little bit ahead of our schedule, as far as my minutes and stuff like that, but I have prepared for this kind of scenario. I'm more excited than anything.”

The Galaxy endured an injury crisis last season, lacked the depth to adequately deal with it, and ended up at the bottom of the league table. They have improved depth this year and should be able to withstand an injury of this magnitude.

“Of course, we don't want injuries at all on our players, and Romain is a very good player,” forward Ola Kamara said. “We're going to miss him in the game, but this is going to happen in the season. People are going to get injured and we just have to deal with it. The outcome of it, we don't really know yet.

“We have a lot of people [to step in], especially in the midfield and the attacking. I think we have the players to replace him for a couple of games, but, of course, we're going to miss him.”

Schmid said the decision on who will take the Frenchman's place could be decided shortly before kickoff Sunday.

“It's a game-time decision, more or less,” he said. “We'll see where Pontius is at, we'll see how Seba is. [Ariel] Lassiter could come into the squad, as well.”