CARSON, Calif. – Todd Dunivant has returned to full training for the LA Galaxy and should return to the field next week against Portland, and this time he thinks he's back for real.
The 32-year-old veteran left back, who suffered a high leg injury two months ago in the CONCACAF Champions League semifinal second leg at Monterrey, has returned twice already only to discover things weren't quite right.
“I guess it's always wait and see,” said Dunivant, who was back in training last week but had his first full sessions on Wednesday and Thursday. “But I feel a thousand times better than I did coming back before. Even warming up the other times coming back, I was a little concerned with jogging – it didn't feel right, it felt like it was always ready to go. This time it's feeling a lot fresher, a lot better. And feeling normal.”
Dunivant's ailing left hip and quadriceps forced him out of the April 13 loss at FC Dallas, but he returned a week later and went the full 90 in a win at Sporting Kansas City. Then he was out for three games, returning for the May 15 victory at Philadelphia. He hasn't been on the field since the May 19 loss at New York, missing the past three games – four, counting a US Open Cup defeat in the third round of the tournament.
“It literally was not ready, not until Friday, the first day I felt I was over the hump,” said Dunivant, who is looking forward to minutes in Saturday night's Reserve League game against the USL PRO's LA Blues in Carson. “It wasn't ‘wait and see, be cautious.’ I literally could not play. And coming back after the New York game, I couldn't kick a ball. Literally, there was so much pain, it was impossible to kick a ball with my left foot, and I can't play that way, obviously.”
LA are 2-6 in first-team games without Dunivant, and, with Omar Gonzalez away with the US national team until the June 23 SuperClasico against Chivas USA, they could use a veteran presence on the backline.
“We lack some leadership and experience on the field,” associate head coach Dave Sarachan said. “Obviously, from a technical side we're happy, but from the full-package side we're happy Todd's back in and ready to go.”