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Short-handed Galaxy could lose Robbie Keane as well

March 24, 2013|By Kevin Baxter
  • Galaxy forward Robbie Keane finished fourth in the league in scoring with 16 goals before making five more in the playoffs last season.
Galaxy forward Robbie Keane finished fourth in the league in scoring with… (Ted S. Warren / Associated…)

The Galaxy began the season without Landon Donovan and now they may be without their other designated player, Robbie Keane, after Keane was ruled out of Ireland's World Cup qualifier with Austria on Tuesday with a calf injury.

"A scan ... confirmed that Robbie is suffering from calf strain after Friday's game with Sweden," the Football Association of Ireland said in a statement.

Keane, the Irish captain, came out of the 1-1 draw with Sweden in the 74th minute,

It's uncertain how long Keane could be out, but his absence for even one game would be felt by the Galaxy. Donovan, who has been in self-exile from soccer since December, is expected to rejoin the Galaxy in training this week, but he probably will need a month or more to regain the fitness needed to play a game.

And that's time the Galaxy doesn't have. Major League Soccer's defending champions play Saturday in Toronto before beginning their two-game CONCACAF Champions League series with Mexico's Monterrey, the two-time defending CCL champion, on April 3. That game is part of a streak that will feature the team playing six times in 29 days.

The absence of both Keane and Donovan up front probably will cause a shuffle of the Galaxy lineup, with Sean Franklin possibly moving from the back line to the midfield while teenagers Jose Villarreal and Jack McBean will see more playing time at forward.

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