CARSON, Calif. – Landon Donovan’s ankle injury may have been more severe than the LA Galaxy forward initially thought, but he has no plans to let it hamper him as he looks to help LA clinch a berth in the 2013 MLS Cup Playoffs on Sunday.
Donovan was unavailable for Wednesday’s 1-0 victory with the Montreal Impact due to a left ankle inflammation, which forced him to exit early from international duty with the U.S. National Team last week. With the Galaxy facing a situation where a draw or a victory against the San Jose Earthquakes puts them through to the postseason, Donovan believes that the time is now to get back on the field.
“The ankle is not great, but we’re going to try to play. This is the time of the year where you just have to get through it,” said Donovan on Friday following LA's penultimate training session before the California Clasico. “I've been out long enough and I miss playing with these guys. I want to do whatever I can to help contribute. I know what this means so we’re going to try to play.
“Realistically, I’ve been told that I need six weeks of rest, but that’s obviously not going to happen. Even getting four or five days helps a little bit,” he added. “It’s still going to be painful, but you just cross your fingers that you don’t do further damage."
Even the traditionally guarded head coach Bruce Arena noted that the team is “anticipating” that Donovan and center back Omar Gonzalez (left hip strain) will be able to play against the Quakes on Sunday after both were unable to participate against the Impact.
If Donovan does take part, he'll have the opportunity to take sole possession of the MLS all-time leading goal scoring record as he is currently tied with Jeff Cunningham at 134 goals. Although being so close to such a career milestone may be distracting, Donovan admits that he’s put little thought into breaking record due to LA’s tough postseason chase.
“If it happens great, if it doesn't then hopefully I’ll be able to do it at some point. I don’t think about ti as much as other people do, right now, the focus is on getting in the playoffs,” said Donovan. “Maybe I’m different in that way that it doesn't really occur to me. I’m confident that it will happen at some point, but if I don’t score for the next 15 league games, I’m not worried about it. I just want to win.”
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