CARSON, Calif. – After a potentially serious injury scare, the LA Galaxy are ready to breath a sigh of relief.
The team anticipates that Landon Donovan's ailing left knee is not seriously injured, and they will find out for certain after his scheduled meeting Wednesday with team doctor Bert Mandelbaum.
“I don't believe it's anything serious,” head coach Bruce Arena said following Wednesday's training session at the Home Depot Center. “We will see him back again.”
Donovan, who was hurt when he landed hard on the knee following a challenge from Real Salt Lake defender Jámison Olave during this past Saturday's Galaxy loss, returned Tuesday from the national team's camp in Miami after US national team doctors failed to clear him for critical World Cup qualifiers Friday at Antigua & Barbuda and on Oct. 16 against Guatemala in Kansas City, Kan.
The 30-year-old canceled a scheduled an MRI on Monday to join the national team after telling head coach Jurgen Klinsmann that the knee had improved dramatically Sunday and overnight into Monday. After the national team's medical team staff took a look at the knee, he was sent back to Los Angeles.
“Landon was very optimistic over the weekend when his knee was feeling much better,” Klinsmann said in a statement Tuesday, “but now he needs time to recover.”
It is uncertain if he can be ready for LA's highly anticipated game at San Jose on Oct. 21 or for the regular-season finale a week later against Seattle at the HDC.
Donovan, who missed last month's World Cup qualifiers with a hamstring strain, went down in the 81st minute of RSL's 2-1 victory this past weekend. He required medical treatment on the field, limped off gingerly and to the bench, and said afterward that the knee was hurt when he “landed on it,” that it left “a pretty good divot there” on the turf, and that “it didn't feel good.”
There appeared to be no ligament damage, but Wednesday's tests will determine whether it is something minor, such as bruised knee.
“Maybe in layman's terms, that may be what it is,” Arena said. “Could be a boo-boo on his knee. ... We're hopeful it's nothing serious, and we're optimistic.”