Galaxy players concerned for Beckham

Team has faith Becks will return as strong as ever

David Beckham, Bruce Arena, LA Galaxy

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L.A. Galaxy players certainly were happy to
welcome back Landon Donovan, who just returned to the club after a successful
10-week loan with Everton of the English Premier League. But for every joke
they made about Donovan’s pale complexion, there were concerns for fallen
teammate David Beckham, who will be sidelined for several months after tearing his
left Achilles tendon in AC Milan’s 1-0 victory over Chievo Verona on Sunday.
Beckham had what was called successful surgery on Monday in Finland and now
faces a lengthy recovery.

A number of Galaxy players have
tried to reach Beckham to offer their support to the popular 34-year-old (he
turns 35 in May) who was trying to play in a record fourth World Cup for
England this summer in South Africa. His international career now appears to be
over.

“It’s heartbreaking,” Alan
Gordon said. “There’s just not a lot you can say ... it’s a terrible, terrible
thing. I know how much it meant to him and how much he’s done to try and make
it happen for this World Cup for England. For it to happen like that, it’s heartbreaking.”

Beckham was hurt during a
non-contact play. Galaxy defender Todd Dunivant said he was surfing the
Internet when he saw the incident and head coach Bruce Arena said he knew the
injury was serious the moment he saw what happened.

“The second he did it I thought
he blew out his Achilles,” Arena said. “You feel for him and you feel for his
family, all the sacrifices they’ve made trying to bring this to fruition. I
feel bad for him, but knowing David he’s going to put all that past him and take
a real positive approach to getting back on the field.”

“I’m devastated for him,”
Dunivant said. “He’s worked so hard to be on the England team again. He’s
really pushed himself. He was going to be on that team. For him to put all that
work in and for that to happen on such a freak play, you have to throw your
hands up.”

There are some concerns that the
injury potentially could be career-threatening, but Galaxy players would beg to
differ.

“No chance,” Mike Magee said. “In
terms of his body and fitness, nobody treats himself as well as he does. I
wouldn’t be worried about that at all.”

Clint Mathis, who is about to
turn 34, isn’t concerned either. He’s had a number of knee surgeries, including
one earlier in training camp, and he has no intention of hanging up his cleats.

“Obviously, the older you get, you
might have some nagging stuff,” he said. “But I’ve been through seven or eight
knee surgeries and somehow keep coming back. David’s been fortunate in his
career without too many injuries, so I think he’s going to be able to bounce
back from this one. I definitely don’t think this is going to hold David back
from playing anymore.”

But playing again for England is
another story. Almost to a player, Galaxy teammates expressed their remorse for
Beckham being unable to play for his country again.

“I feel sorry for a guy that’s
chasing his dream and having it end like that,” goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts
said. “It’s very unfortunate.”