CARSON, Calif. – Giovani Dos Santos looks like a no-go for the LA Galaxy's match this weekend after exiting their MLS opener with a leg injury, and it could jeopardize his chances of returning to Mexico's national team for its World Cup qualifiers later this month.
Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena on Thursday all but ruled out Dos Santos for Saturday's clash at Colorado (7 pm ET, MLS Live), and the Mexican attacker will have little time to prove his fitness before Juan Carlos Osorio puts together his roster for El Tri's showdowns March 25 and 29 against Canada.
Dos Santos trained neither Wednesday nor Thursday after departing Sunday's 4-1 victory over D.C. United at halftime with a strained muscle in his left leg, and Arena acknowledged that he would not likely be available for the game against the Rapids.
Belgian defender Jelle Van Damme is expected to return to LA's lineup after missing the opener with an ankle injury.
“I'm good. It feels good,” Van Damme said following Wednesday's training session at StubHub Center. “I think I'll be back on the field.”
Van Damme said he hurt his right ankle blocking a shot in training a couple of days before the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal second-leg loss to Santos Laguna in Torreon. The Belgian center back, so impressive in the first-leg draw with Santos, struggled in the second meeting, which the Galaxy lost, 4-0.
“I did it, like, two days before the Santos game and I played on it,” he said. “I think maybe it wasn't a good call of mine, but that's the way I am. I want to play every game, especially these games, so I played on it for, like, 65 minutes, and I never feel like 100 percent comfortable. So then I take it easy for a few days.
“Now I'm back today with the team. So I'm good. It feels good.”
Dos Santos wasn't made available for media, and Arena on Wednesday said there was a possibility he could be ready for Saturday's game, but when asked Thursday if it looked like he'd be unavailable, the Galaxy boss replied: “Yes, I would say so.”
Arena provided no prognosis for next week.
Dos Santos hasn't played for Mexico since last summer's CONCACAF Gold Cup. He was called up for the CONCACAF Cup meeting with the US at the Rose Bowl in October but had to withdraw through injury, and Osorio did not bring him in for the World Cup qualifiers in November nor last month's friendly against Senegal in Miami.
Mexico can clinch a berth for the final round of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2018 World Cup with victories over Canada on March 25 at BC Place in Vancouver and March 29 at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City.
Goalkeeper Dan Kennedy, who departed in the 20th minute Sunday after appearing to tweak his groin on a goal kick, will miss LA's game against the Rapids. Also out is defender Leonardo, who underwent surgery last month to clean up cartilage in his knee, and will be sidelined, Arena said, “a couple more weeks.”
Forward Alan Gordon, who missed the second leg of the Santos series and the D.C. United game with a disc issue in his neck, returned to training Thursday after saying Sunday that he hoped to be ready to play in Colorado.