LA. Galaxy’s Landon Donovan undergoes precautionary MRI after all*


Yup, guess there was more to that LD knee injury.

The Galaxy released a statement at 2:15 p.m. today:

Galaxy midfielder Landon Donovan will return to Los Angeles tonight after being ruled out of the upcoming FIFA World Cup qualifiers with a knee injury. Donovan traveled to Miami to join up with the U.S. National Team on Monday and was evaluated by U.S. Soccer medical staff Tuesday morning.

Donovan suffered the injury late in the Galaxy’s 2-1 loss to Real Salt Lake on Saturday night at The Home Depot Center. He will be further evaluated by club doctors after returning to Los Angeles .

U.S. Soccer also released a statement from Jurgen Klinsmann, who will replace both Donovan and FC Dallas midfielder Brek Shea — who has an abdominal strain — on the roster:

“It’s unfortunate for Landon and Brek that they won’t be able to play,” said Klinsmann. “Landon was very optimistic over the weekend when his knee was feeling much better, but now he needs time to recover. We knew Brek was a question mark coming in, and now we have a clear picture of where he stands. We feel confident that the group we have will get the job done.”

Is there more to this Landon Donovan injury after all? AP Sports Writer Tim Reynolds has more:

MIAMI (AP) — Landon Donovan missed a workout Tuesday to have an MRI on his left knee while the U.S. national team began getting ready for two World Cup qualifying matches.

There was no immediate word on the test result, though U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann did not sound worried. Donovan was hurt Saturday while playing for the Galaxy, but saw some improvement before boarding a flight mONDAY to join the American team in Miami.

“We’re very, very positive on Landon,” Klinsmann said. “Just to be 1,000 percent sure, he’s doing an MRI. He was supposed to do that actually in L.A. (Monday) morning, but he skipped it because he felt so good.”

U.S. Soccer officials expected to receive word about Donovan’s status later Tuesday.

About 10 of the 24 players on the roster missed the morning practice for a variety of reasons — from jet lag to treatment of minor injuries. Klinsmann expects the full roster to be available for a gym session later in the day, and the assumption is that they would all be ready for training Wednesday as well.

Klinsmann announced the roster Monday for the two matches that could be critical to the Americans’ bid to play in the 2014 tournament in Brazil. The U.S. plays at Antigua and Barbuda on Friday and is home against Guatemala next Tuesday.

The U.S., Guatemala and Jamaica all have seven points after the first four matches of Group A play in this qualifying round, and only two of the three will advance. Antigua and Barbuda has one point through four matches. For the U.S. to reach next year’s
regional finals, four points — a win and a tie — would seem the most probable requirement.

Donovan is the national team’s career leader in several categories, including goals (49), assists (48) and matches started (130). U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard said he dined with Donovan after arriving in Miami and suggested he wasn’t concerned about whether the team’s best scorer would be available Friday.

“I don’t really worry about the senior players,” Howard said. “Landon always seems to get the job done. … If he’s fit and ready to play, he’ll be raring to go.”

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About Nick Green

South Bay-based Los Angeles News Group soccer columnist and blogger Nick Green writes at the 100 Percent Soccer blog at and craft beer at the Beer Goggles blog at Cheers!