CARSON, Calif. – Todd Dunivant is working his way back to full fitness, and this time the 32-year-old LA Galaxy left back hopes that it’s for good.
Dunivant has been dealing with a nagging left leg strain that rendered him unavailable for the Galaxy’s last three matches allowing rookie Greg Cochrane to start in his stead. Throughout the injury, Dunivant could be found jogging around the Galaxy training field while his teammates trained, but on Wednesday, he finally got the chance to get back in gear after being cleared by the club’s training staff.
“I’m looking forward to a good week of training,” said Dunivant. “[Wednesday] was my first full day with the team. I trained on Friday before the game, obviously those were lighter days, but I worked out through the weekend and the off days just working on fitness, which is going to be the most important thing at this point.”
Persistent injuries have frustrated Dunivant this year as he has made just seven appearances in league play. The injury that has been plaguing Dunivant for the past two months—since LA’s 2-0 victory over Sporting Kansas City on April 20—is a nagging leg strain that has sidelined him for two separate three game shifts. All totaled, Dunivant has missed eight games in all competitions this season, with the Galxy going just 2-6-0 in those matches.
Dunivant is adamant that he did not come back too quickly when he appeared in LA’s matches against the Philadelphia Union and New York Red Bulls last month and is just as eager to dispel any thoughts that age is creeping up on him. “Not at all,” he says before revealing that he dealt with a similar injury during his second year in MLS.
The injury, which stretched from his left hip all the way through his left quadriceps muscle has just simply been a frustrating occurrence this year, but is one that he believes is behind him.
“It’s one of those things where you try and push through it and you try to get over it, but it’s not quite ready,” said Dunivant who praised LA’s training staff for aiding his recovery and even coming in on the team’s off days for his rehabilitation. “It’s one of those frustrating things that you have to deal with. I’m feeling like this time, knock on wood, I’m feeling good and looking to push on. “
LA head coach Bruce Arena, for one, is optimistic that Dunivant will soon regain his status as a mainstay in the Galaxy defense.
“He should be back,” said Arena. “He’s had a nice vacation.”
While Arena opted for brevity, associate head coach Dave Sarachan went more in depth on Dunivant’s continued recovery.
“It’s frustrating for athletes [to deal with injuries], but our medical staff has done a good job,” said Sarachan. “It’s just taken a little longer than we thought.”
Hopeful that he has, at last, turned the corner, Dunivant expects to see time in LA’s Reserve League fixture against the USL Pro’s Los Angeles Blues on Saturday.
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“I want to get some fitness there,” he said. “I’m looking forward to getting a run out there, absolutely.”
If Dunivant can continue his improvement in training and during Saturday’s Reserve League match, then an appearance –perhaps even a start—in LA’s next league match against the Portland Timbers on June 19, may become a real possibility.
“That’s going to be the goal,” said Dunivant. “Obviously, I would love to [play].”
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/Insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com