Galaxy players reacted Tuesday to Beckham’s injury; Coach Bruce Arena sounds like he’s taking it in stride, however:
CARSON (AP) — David Beckham’s prolonged absence because of an injury suffered in Europe will affect the Los Angeles Galaxy profoundly, Galaxy players said Tuesday.
“With this team, it’s massive,” said Galaxy defender Gregg Berhalter, who played for the
United States in the 2002 and 2006 World Cups. “He’s a huge part of this team. It’s (a matter of) trying to figure out what to do next.”
Beckham tore his left Achilles’ tendon Sunday while playing for AC Milan during his second offseason loan to the Italian club from Major League Soccer’s Galaxy. He underwent surgery in Finland on Monday and will be sidelined for about six months.
The Galaxy’s season ends in October so Beckham will miss most of the MLS season.
“He’s an important part to AC Milan, he’s an important part to England and he’s a vital part to us,” Galaxy midfielder Chris Klein said. “On the field, the leadership, the quality he brings, you don’t replace that.”
Beckham was trying to earn a place on England’s World Cup roster. Had he done so, he would have been the first English player to appear in four World Cups.
“I know he’s very down about this,” said Klein.
Galaxy midfielder Bryan Jordan said Beckham provided a positive example for young players.
“I look at how he does things, how he keeps the ball, where he loses the ball, how he gets his crosses in,” Jordan said. “I’ve looked up to him even before playing with him.”
Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said he had no idea when Beckham would return.
“I don’t think I’ve ever had a player with an Achilles’ tendon tear,” Arena said. “When they say ‘six months,’ it’s probably accurate. That might even be aggressive. You don’t know how the player reacts to the surgery, therapy, rehab, all that stuff.”
Nevertheless, Arena said Beckham’s absence will not alter the Galaxy’s basic approach to offense.
“We’re not going to change anything,” Arena said. “We were going to be playing without him up until July, anyway. We won’t need to be making any adjustments if he’s not back in July.”
Incidentally, Landon Donovan will meet the media Wednesday for the first time since returning to the Galaxy from Everton.