CARSON, Calif. – Landon Donovan and Carlo Cudicini likely will be back on the field when the LA Galaxy take on the Houston Dynamo in Sunday night's rematch of the last two MLS Cup finals (11 pm ET, ESPN2, LIVE chat on MLSsoccer.com), but Robbie Keane and Todd Dunivant appear iffy, even if head coach Bruce Arena won't say so.
All four missed last weekend's victory at Real Salt Lake, Keane with a sprained ankle and the other three with leg strains, but Donovan has been training fully nearly all week and Cudicini was fully involved Friday and said he is now able to kick the ball without discomfort, which has been an issue for almost two weeks.
Keane and Dunivant have done some on-field fitness work this week, but neither has participated in team sessions, and they weren't involved in Friday's training session at the Home Depot Center.
Arena, who rarely offers any real insight into LA's injury situation, said he won't put a lineup together until after Saturday's practice.
“All players, we believe, will be available for selection on Sunday,” he said when asked if Keane and Dunivant were less likely to be ready. Keane has missed two of LA's last three games with ankle injuries, but he went the full 90 in the victory two weeks ago over Sporting Kansas City.
“Robbie tends to say he's out a month, and then he's fine the next day,” Mike Magee noted. “He claims to be a quick healer, which he is.”
One player certainly not available is teenage forward Jack McBean, who underwent surgery Tuesday to repair a broken left clavicle and likely won't return, Arena said, until July.
Rookie Charlie Rugg, who scored in his MLS debut last week, and Jose Villarreal, who missed the RSL game while in camp with the US under-20 national team, could get the nod up front. Rookie Greg Cochrane has looked good in two starts in Dunivant's spot at left back.
“If [Keane and Dunivant are] not ready, other guys will step in and go,” Donovan said. “We take a really, I think, overly cautious approach [to injuries] most times early in the season. Bruce is very good with that, our training staff is very good about that. There's no need to put someone at risk to keep injuring themselves or get hurt worse. We want to make sure guys are ready when they're called on.”