CARSON, Calif. – Landon Donovan enjoyed his strongest game of 2013 last Saturday in the LA Galaxy’s 2-0 victory over Sporting Kansas City, tallying a goal and an assist in the win, but whether he will be able to duplicate his success this weekend against Real Salt Lake remains a question mark.
WATCH: Donovan scores first goal of 2013
Donovan has worked out exclusively in the gym this week as he deals with a strain in his right leg that he suffered during LA’s win over Sporting KC last Saturday.
“We’re definitely going to be cautious and always hopeful that I’ll be ready Saturday, but we’ll see,” Donovan told reporters on Thursday. “I sprinted and reached for the ball and when I got up I felt it.”
The 31-year-old attacker has been eager to recapture his sharpness after returning to the team from a sabbatical on March 27. Since rejoining the team, Donovan has logged 326 minutes across five games in all competitions while making three starts, tallying a goal and an assist.
With Donovan keen to contribute right away after his absence, he admits that he may have pushed himself too far during the last month.
“I did a lot of work last week in the gym and pushed myself on the field because I really wanted to get fit and ready, so potentially that’s a factor but it’s hard to know,” said Donovan. “Like everyone, I’ve put in a lot of work over the last couple of weeks, so we’re going to be careful and make sure that we’re okay.”
WATCH: Donovan postgame reaction after win vs SKC
Associate head coach Dave Sarachan admitted that “there’s a possibility” that Donovan—or forward Robbie Keane, who is dealing with an ankle issue— might not start against Salt Lake, but LA is taking a wait and see approach.
“Landon is still dealing with a little bit of the game against Kansas City and a little bit of a leg strain. We’re being cautious,” Sarachan said. “We’re taking it day by day and likely once we get closer, in the next day or 24 hours, make that decision with Landon.”
If Donovan is unable to start, his responsibilities in the offense will likely fall to Mike Magee, who has enjoyed plenty of success in 2013 with five goals to date. Although LA may be without two of their biggest stars, the team’s leading scorer has no worries about the team’s ability to face RSL.
“It’s the same thing every time, there are no concerns,” said Magee. “Obviously, you want them playing, I think they will and I hope that they will, but for any reason that anyone is out, no one is worried.”
If Donovan is able to suit up Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium, he’ll lead the Galaxy against a strong Real Salt Lake side that relishes their encounters with LA over the years.
“We’ve had some really good games with them over the years and I guess you create rivalries by playing important games against teams that mean something and we’ve had a lot of that over the last few years,” said Donovan. “All that says to me is that we’re two teams that are consistently very good and that comes down to the stability of the organizations, the stability of the coaches and having good players and leaders on the field, which I think both of our teams have.”
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/Insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com