CARSON, Calif. – Marcelo Sarvas is back on the field and aiming for the LA Galaxy's game in Chicago at the start of June, but he has not given up hope that he could be ready to go by this weekend.
The Brazilian midfielder suffered a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee during training the last week of April and will miss his fourth game on Wednesday night when the Galaxy (2-3-3) host FC Dallas (5-5-2) at StubHub Center (10:30 pm ET, MLS LIVE). Yet Sarvas would like to be available for Sunday evening's home clash against the Philadelphia Union.
"The target is Chicago [on June 1], be able to be with the team, available for [head coach] Bruce [Arena]," Sarvas said Tuesday, when he began ball work in training. "But you never know. The soccer player sleeps, and the next day you wake up better, so maybe on Sunday. You never know. I just want to keep doing what I'm doing and let's see to Sunday."
Sarvas was hugely influential in LA's midfield last season, and he has been a pivotal piece of the Galaxy's new diamond midfield this year. His injury forced a shakeup in the lineup, with Landon Donovan – now off with the US national team for World Cup preparations – dropping from the front line into midfield, which changed the system's dynamics.
The Galaxy have scored just once in three games without Sarvas, with 1-0 losses at Colorado and Houston sandwiched around a 1-1 draw at Portland. He returned to training on Monday but did not begin ball drills until Tuesday.
"I felt very good," he said. "This is the last step and the hardest one, because it's the transition from running and all the physiotherapy, but I'm happy. I felt good. Let's see, maybe one, two weeks I'll be ready to step."
- Catch more Galaxy news at LAGalaxy.com
The Galaxy are still without defenders Todd Dunivant and James Riley. Dunivant continues rehab from a torn abdominal muscle sustained in the April 6 victory over Chivas USA. Arena acknowledged this week that he did not have a timeline for the veteran left back's return after repeatedly saying Dunivant would be back "soon" the previous five weeks.
Riley, who is out until September after his left meniscus was surgically repaired, is off crutches and walking normally and has been making it onto the field to watch training regularly. Center back Leonardo, who was on the bench against Houston after surgery last week on a broken finger, will be available against Dallas, Arena said.