CARSON, Calif. — For the first time since 2008, Landon Donovan missed time with the LA Galaxy because of something other than international duty.
Donovan hurt his knee in the club's 1-0 win over the Philadelphia Union on April 2 and subsequently missed all three games of the club's longest road trip of the season.
As the Galaxy prepare for their home game against the Portland Timbers on Saturday (11 pm ET/8 pm PT, Fox Soccer), Donovan said his knee is responding and should allow him to participate on Saturday.
"The knee is feeling better, getting better, getting closer to 100 percent," Donovan said. "Fitness-wise, I’m a little ways away. Having been off for two weeks, sharpness-wise, too. This has been good to have a few days out here training."
Donovan seemed to hurt the knee rather innocuously. He said he took a shot and someone had stuck out their leg and made contact with Donovan.
"I ended up having some swelling and I probably sprained it a little bit," he explained. "It just wouldn’t go away that first week so we just made a decision to just stay home last week. I didn’t feel it. I felt it after the game and the next day."
Without Donovan, the Galaxy had draws at D.C. United and Toronto FC before closing out the road swing with a 2-1 win over the Chicago Fire. Donovan watched from afar, unable to make an impact on the match or do anything with his teammates.
"It is frustrating when your team is playing and you can’t be there," Donovan said. "It came at a bad time. If we would have had just two games last week it would have been a little easier, but playing three games in the week made it difficult."
Donovan has been healthy and in tip-top shape over the last several years, so having had to deal with an injury was something new for him. Instead of trying to rush back or play through the discomfort, he said the best thing to do was to play it cautiously.
"Not having had an injury like this, you don’t know how to gauge it, you don’t know where you’re at," Donovan said. "It’s kind of touch-and-go and making sure you’re doing enough — but not doing too much to re-injure it. I think I’ve done a good job of staying on top of it."