CARSON, Calif. – Landon Donovan has targeted the LA Galaxy's next match, Sept. 14 against Colorado, for his return from a hamstring injury, but he's not quite yet in the clear.
The Galaxy captain, who injured his left hamstring in the Aug. 15 US victory over Mexico at Estadio Azteca, isn't practicing with the team, although he hopes to do so shortly.
“I'm getting there,” he said following the Galaxy's session Thursday morning at The Home Depot Center. “Still haven't been able to train yet, but the hope is by sometime this week or early next week we can train, and the target is the Colorado game.”
The Galaxy train again Friday, then have the weekend off before resuming sessions Monday.
Donovan has missed four games through all competitions – wins over Isidro Metapán, FC Dallas, Puerto Rico and Vancouver – after skipping the draw at Columbus while in Mexico with the national team. He assisted all four goals, tying a Major League Soccer record, in a 4-0 romp Aug. 12 over Chivas USA, his last Galaxy appearance.
“It's frustrating not to play for awhile, but for this team, we just played four games – four victories, which helps a lot, takes the pressure off,” said Donovan, who jogged around the field during Thursday's session. “And I'll be fan No. 1 tomorrow night watching the US game, so hopefully it goes well, too.”
The injury prevented Donovan, 30, from joining the USMNT for World Cup qualifiers Friday and on Sept. 11 against Jamaica. He had turned down or withdrew from three prior national team call-ups, because of injury and the Galaxy's title run last season, since Jurgen Klinsmann took charge of the national team last summer.
Donovan will have missed one day shy of a month if he's able to play against the Rapids.
“It's getting better, it just takes more time as you get older, unfortunately,” he said. “If you're 18 and you have a similar injury, you're probably going to be back a lot sooner than if you're 37. I mean, you just take it day-by-day and see how it goes."