WASHINGTON – When Landon Donovan returned to the LA Galaxy on Tuesday after an extended leave absence from the game, he took a moment to address his teammates on their way to a brief training session before their trip to the White House.
“He said, he’s enjoyed watching us and he’s proud of the way that we’ve started,” defender Todd Dunivant recollected. “He’s really excited to contribute and it’s as simple as that. He’s enjoyed the spirit of the team and obviously, we’ve had great results and moving forward, he’s only going to make us that much better.”
The comments may have been brief, but they were quite meaningful for his teammates.
“He didn’t have to say much, we’re not a young group of guys that was wondering, it was very clear that we were going to let him do what he needed to do,” said midfielder Mike Magee. “He came in front of the guys and said thanks for having me back, we didn’t guilt trip him too much so he’s happy to be back and we’re happy for him to be back.”
Donovan has trained with the club for the last two days and although he may have been away from the team for several months, there was no change according to Dunivant.
“It was honestly, like he never left. Having Landon back in the mix is about as easy a transition as there’s been. He’s been our leader for a long time now and to have him back on the field is honestly like he never left," said Dunivant. "We have a lot of guys on this team who have played with Landon for a long time and there are a lot of unselfish guys, so there’s not a lot of egos getting in the way, there’s no animosity anything like that. It’s just great to have him back.”
But how long will it take for Donovan to return to the field? Possibly sooner rather than later.
“With Landon, I wouldn’t put anything past him. He’s going to want to play quickly and I wouldn’t be surprised if we use him quickly,” said Dunivant. ‘It’ll take him some time, but even at 70 or 80 percent, Landon is probably a best XI player in this league.”