CARSON, Calif. – Robbie Keane is back from Kazakhstan and Landon Donovan made his first game appearance in nearly a month. All seems well with the LA Galaxy's Designated Players, right?
Not so fast. David Beckham missed training Tuesday with a sprained left ankle, isn't expected to be on the practice field Wednesday and is uncertain for Friday's Major League Soccer encounter with Colorado at the Home Depot Center.
Head coach Bruce Arena had little to say about Beckham and his injury, his usual tactic in such matters, merely confirming that the English superstar had taken a knock and that he didn't “have any thoughts” on whether Beckham might be available, although he acknowledged he “might be” able to play.
Keane, however, was back on the training field Tuesday after returning from Ireland's victory at Kazakhstan in their World Cup qualifying opener. Keane converted a penalty kick in the 2-1 decision.
So Keane returns happy, right?
“Happy because he's out of wherever the hell he was,” Arena quipped to reporters. “He thought he was in China. He's not sure exactly where he was. I don't even know where [Kazakhstan] is.”
Donovan, who suffered a hamstring injury in the US national team's Aug. 15 win over Mexico, hopes to be ready for Friday's game after playing a little more than a half-hour in LA's 4-0 Reserve League victory on Monday over Portland.
His performance, Arena said, “was OK. He came in at a time, and 90 degrees out here is a little bit of a slowed-down game, but it was a good way to get him reintroduced again to the game. I think he did well.”
Is Donovan expected to play?
“No expectations at this point,” Arena said. “It's only Tuesday, and we'll see as we move closer towards Friday.”
Edson Buddle made his fourth appearance of his second “preseason” in Monday's Reserve League game, lasting until the 57th minute, then explained that he's getting closer to full strength following knee surgery at the end of May. It will just take a little time.
“I'm feeling like preseason,” he said. “My body's trying to get back fit. ... If it's preseason, I'm in the beginning stages. No, I would say it's not the beginning, because I've been doing a lot of things in the gym and on my own with the trainers, but the middle of preseason. [Getting game-fit] takes time. Good thing we've had all these games. It's going to come back quickly.”
Buddle has come off the bench in the Galaxy's last two first-team matches, the CONCACAF Champions League win Aug. 29 over Puerto Rico and the Sept. 1 victory over Vancouver, and he played the first half of the Sept. 4 reserve game at San Jose.
“I'm holding up the ball more than in the last game,” he said. “I would say with the guys that are more fit than I am on the team, they expect me to hold it up and they want to play off of me and link up. I think it's an improvement from the last game, and I just want to continue to go in that direction.”