Beckham Feels Great About First Game Back
CARSON, Calif. – It took 70 minutes for the LA Galaxy’s David
Beckham to make his first appearance of the 2010 MLS regular season in
Saturday’s 3-1 victory over the Columbus Crew at The Home Depot Center. And it
was only another four minutes before the 35-year-old earned his first yellow
card after colliding with the Crew’s Emmanuel Ekpo.
“I know Alex really well,” he said of match referee Alex
Prus, who booked him with the yellow card. “I think he was just kind of joking
giving it to me. It was just one of those moments.
“Twenty minutes out there on the field, I’m happy with
It was just under six months ago when Beckham tore his left
Achilles tendon while playing for AC Milan, an injury that forced him to miss
out on potentially playing for England
in the World Cup and cast even more jeopardy on his chances of playing for the
Galaxy this season.
But after months of grueling rehabilitation, he returned to
the training field almost four weeks ago and announced last week he had
targeted Saturday’s game for his return.
He arrived to The Home Depot Center early, did about 2 1/2
hours of work in the gym to loosen and build up the strength in his left leg
and barely could stay seated on the bench once the game started.
It was 20 minutes into the second half when Galaxy head
coach Bruce Arena went over to Beckham and asked him if he was ready.
“He came up to me, and he said, ‘How about 10, 15 minutes?
We want to get a good 10, 15 minutes,’ ” Beckham said. “I said, ‘Well, how
about 20, 25?’ He kind of listened to me and we kind of met in the middle.”
Beckham replaced Juninho and moments later attempted his
first shot of the season, a 25-yarder from just outside the top of the penalty
area that was blocked by the Crew’s Chad
was soon after that when he collided with Ekpo in front of the Crew bench.
“Obviously, it felt great,” Beckham said of playing again.
“I’ve never been out of the game for such a long time, and to get back out
there in just under six months was a quick recovery. I’m happy with that."
“Being out there for 20 minutes felt good.”
And the Galaxy felt great to have him back.
“David’s presence helps our team,” Arena said. “He helps our
team in the locker room, the training field and on game day. It’s kind of
remarkable that he’s back on the field in a short period of time."
“September 15 is six months … at his age to come back, the
players see that, and I think it’s inspirational to the team. We’re hopeful he
can continue to move forward for the remaining five or six weeks of the regular
season, and hopefully by playoff time he can be sharp.”
Beckham, who played 45 minutes in a closed scrimmage against
on Wednesday, smiled when asked he could play a full match.
“I thought I was ready for 90 minutes months ago,” he said.
“I think at the end of the day I still have to take my time being eased into
games. I thought I could have played 90 minutes tonight, but after 10 minutes
being on the field I felt like I was dying. But I came through it and finished
strong. It felt great tonight.”