CARSON, Calif. – Two of the LA Galaxy’s biggest weapons have been mostly absent for the last three weeks of the regular season. Thanks to a pair of injuries, Landon Donovan has barely played and Robbie Keane has been entirely a spectator.
As the club’s first postseason match nears, Donovan appears to be further ahead in his battle to overcome injury.
The attacker participated in the club’s full training session on Tuesday, playing in short-sided games with his teammates, while Keane went through some drills on the side and watched his teammates play.
The last time both played in a league game was on Oct. 1 in a 2-1 win over Real Salt Lake. Keane, though, was hurt while playing for Ireland in a subsequent international fixture while Donovan came away from the RSL match with a quadriceps strain.
Donovan got the last 20 minutes against Motagua in CONCACAF Champions League action last week, but Keane has yet to kick a ball in competition.
“Robbie is making good progress,” Galaxy associate coach Dave Sarachan said. “We’re monitoring, obviously, but each day has gotten a little bit better progressively. We’re hopeful that we’ll see him sooner or later. I can’t make any predictions at the moment, but we’re kind of pleased with the progress.”
Keane played 90 minutes for Ireland in a Euro 2012 qualifier on Oct. 8 but came away with an adductor injury. Initially ruled out for up to four weeks, he is now nearly three weeks into that timetable.
And that leaves fans wondering: Is there a chance Keane will play a role in the Western Conference Semifinals?
“It’s hard to say,” Sarachan said. “It’s a delicate thing because those injuries, if you rush too much, then you’re really set back. I think we’re doing the right things, taking it step by step and we’re hopeful that we’re going to be able to utilize him. We’re just not sure in what capacity.”
LA’s captain, meanwhile, looked healthy enough to play as he ran through training games with his teammates. Donovan did not play in any of the Galaxy’s final three regular-season games due to the strained quadriceps, but the run-out against Motagua appears to have done him some good.
“He’s been feeling good," Sarachan said. "We’ve been cautious with Landon as well. He was involved in the day-to-day. We keep pushing Landon along. I think he’s also now in a good place physically.”
Sean Franklin, meanwhile, made his own return from injury on Sunday, playing for the first time in more than a month. The right-sider has overcome an inflamed knee and is on target to play a role in the first leg of the Galaxy’s playoff series.
“It was good to get him some minutes the other day in Houston, and he came through that pretty well,” Sarachan said of the All-Star defender. “He’s pretty much on target since his surgery as far as coming back. We’re hopeful that he’ll have a good week of training and will be an option for us.”