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David Beckham refuses to be counted out

He goes through a light workout with the Galaxy and hopes to play this season, but doesn't comment on remarks by England's national team coach, who says the veteran is too old to play for his country again.

August 11, 2010|By Baxter Holmes

David Beckham joined the Galaxy in 2007 by way of a reported $250-million contract over five years, or about $1 million per week.

Beckham has not played for the Galaxy this season after tearing his left Achilles' tendon in March while on loan to AC Milan.

On Wednesday, Beckham met with reporters at Home Depot Center in Carson for the first time since returning to train with the Galaxy, and the 35-year-old said he is optimistic that he will be able to play this season.

"In my own head, I could have been back a month ago, but realistically, the doctors said October 1st," he said. "Hopefully, it will be a few weeks before that."

Since he is on the disabled list, the soonest Beckham could return is for the Galaxy's game against the Chicago Fire on Sept. 4.

But Wednesday in England, national team Coach Fabio Capello appeared to mark the end of Beckham's international career, telling Britain's ITV Sport that Beckham is "probably a bit too old" to play again for his home country.

"Thank you, David," Capello said.

Beckham wasn't asked about Capello's comments because they surfaced after Beckham's meeting with reporters.

Beckham's spokesman, Simon Oliveira, later released this statement: "There has been no discussion of retirement. He will always be available for his country, when fit and if needed he will be there."

Beckham, speaking generally, said much the same.

"I've always said that I won't retire from playing from my country, whether I never get picked again, play one more game or 10 more games," he said.

Beckham also reiterated that because the injury forced him to sit out the recently concluded World Cup, it made him miss soccer more than he expected.

"Some people say at my age, you kind of start not loving football as much as when you were 21, but I still do," he said.

His passion for a quick return has been tempered by the reality of his injury. Beckham said doctors and others have told him many times, "Don't rush coming back, because if you re-tear it, you won't play again."

"That kind of stuck in my mind," Beckham said.

Beckham went through a light practice with his teammates and is scheduled to travel with the Galaxy to New York for Saturday's game against the Red Bulls.

"Knowing how short it has been since his injury, I was expecting him to be kind of walking around and kind of being a mascot out here," midfielder Chris Klein said. "But to see him moving around and kicking the ball that he did and running the way that he is, it's remarkable."

Said defender Todd Dunivant: "You don't want to count David out. Anyone that has done that during his career, he has proven them wrong."

baxter.holmes@latimes.com

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