CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy defender Leonardo continued his return from injury on Monday with a 45 minute shift in LA reserves 2-0 victory over Chivas USA.
Leonardo has missed the Galaxy’s last two league matches with left adductor fatigue that he states occurred in the closing moments of the team’s 1-1 draw with Seattle Sounders FC on Sept. 21 and then became re-aggregivated during LA's trip to Costa Rica for CONCACAF Champions League play.
“It was the first time that I’ve played or trained with the group. The last couple days, I’ve been training off to the side and it was good for me to do that. I realized that there are a couple things that I need to work on and I’ll work on that.”
Rookie Kofi Opare has performed well in Leonardo’s absence, but following the reserves victory, assistant coach Curt Onalfo admits that the Brazilian center back is back in the mix for a starting role—possibly as soon as LA’s Oct. 16 game against the Montreal Impact.
“[This appearance keeps] him sharp. He’s been out two weeks and it keeps him in the mix for the next game,” said Onalfo. “We just wanted to be smart [with playing him 45 minutes] and moving him along slowly. He’s on target [for Montreal].”
The Brazilian center back agrees that Montreal could be a target for him.
“My fitness is not that far off where it was just two weeks ago, I didn’t lose that much,” said Leonardo. “I’m confident that I can get it back in the next couple of days. Yes, we’re off for a few days this week, but I’ll have a few individual sessions to do that.”