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Galaxy's Landon Donovan questionable to start Saturday's game

April 25, 2013|By Jim Peltz
  • Galaxy midfielder Landon Donovan controls the ball under pressure from Monterrey's Jose Maria Basanta during a CONCACAF Champions League semifinal game earlier this month.
Galaxy midfielder Landon Donovan controls the ball under pressure from… (Alfredo Lopez / Associated…)

Galaxy forward Landon Donovan said it's questionable whether he'll start Saturday night's game against Real Salt Lake because of a sore right leg.

The Galaxy's all-time leading scorer said he was "hopeful that I'll be ready" for the Major League Soccer match at Rio Tinto Stadium near Salt Lake City, "but we'll see."

Donovan, 31, scored one goal and had an assist in the Galaxy's 2-0 victory over Sporting Kansas City last weekend.

During that game, Donovan said, he strained his leg after he "sprinted and then reached for a ball."

"We're going to be careful and make sure everything is OK" before he returns to play, Donovan said after the Galaxy's practice Thursday at Home Depot Center in Carson.

After helping the Galaxy win its second consecutive MLS Cup last December, Donovan took an extended leave for mental and physical exhaustion. He finally returned after the MLS season had started in early March.

Donovan also hopes to rejoin the U.S. national soccer team. But U.S. Coach Juergen Klinsmann told reporters Wednesday that Donovan's sparkling play against Sporting Kansas City did not by itself merit a recall to the team.

"There are players clearly ahead of Landon Donovan right now" on the U.S. squad, MLSsoccer.com quoted Klinsmann as saying.

Donovan said he agreed with Klinsmann. "I said from the beginning that I have to earn my way back, and playing one good game doesn't earn your way back," Donovan said. "I've still got a long way to go."

Asked what he still needed to accomplish, Donovan replied, "I have to play well. I have to continue to build on what I did last weekend and then at that point there's still no guarantee.

"Like Juergen said, I'm well behind the group in a lot of ways and I'm aware of that," Donovan said. "All I want is a chance to prove that I belong, and I'm going to have to work hard just to get that chance."

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