We know that Landon Donovan will be returning to the LA Galaxy this year and now we know when.
The Galaxy issued a statement on Sunday stating that Donovan will be returning to the club during the last week of March. Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena had told reporters at the start of the preseason in January that he would return to the club at some point this year after a brief hiatus.
“After a series of collaborative discussions between Landon, his representative and our key club leaders, we have agreed to allow Landon to remain on an extended leave of absence and return to training with the team during the final week of March,” Galaxy General Manager and Head Coach Bruce Arena said in the statement. “We understand this arrangement is not ideal, but we are confident it will allow Landon the time he needs to be both mentally and physically prepared for the upcoming season. We remain focused on our preparation for the start of the 2013 season and look forward to Landon rejoining us next month.”
The announcement means that Donovan will miss LA's first three league matches and the entire CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal series against Herediano. Donovan's return date also means that he will likely not factor in the U.S. national team's World Cup qualifying matches against Costa Rica on March 22 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park and against Mexico at Estadio Azteca on March 26.
What are your thoughts on Donovan returning at the end of the March? What is the lineup that the Galaxy use to start the season? Can they advance to the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals without him?
Share your thoughts below.