CARSON, Calif. – Landon Donovan is still listed on the LA Galaxy’s injury report as questionable with right hamstring tightness, but the Galaxy captain is optimistic that he’ll be able to return to the field in Sunday’s decisive Western Conference Championship Second Leg against Seattle Sounders FC.
Donovan suffered the injury during the closing stages of LA’s 3-0 victory over Sounders FC last Sunday, which ultimately caused him to exit the game at the 84th minute. Since the issue arouse, Donovan has seen limited action in training, admitting he “started exercising again” on Friday but was optimistic that he could participate in the second leg.
“I think that if you asked me on Sunday, I would have said there is very little chance, but now I’m a lot more optimistic,” said Donovan on Friday. “We’re going to take it day by day and see how it goes. Obviously, we travel up tomorrow, we’ll see how much I can do tomorrow and then the hope is that Sunday I’ll be able to go. “
Donovan described his hamstring as being in “not perfect shape” and a result of an accumulation of various knocks throughout the season but admitted that his strain was not severe as it could have been. However, if Donovan is unable to start or dress for the match, the Galaxy captain believes that LA’s bench can step up in his stead.
“We do have full confidence and as we’ve said all year, we have a group of 20-odd players that can do the job,” said Donovan. “In a perfect world, obviously everybody is healthy and available and I think Seattle would say the same thing, but that’s what happens this time of year and that’s why you spend so much time developing the roster. “
While some may believe that Donovan should take a cautious approach to his injury with LA on the brink of the MLS Cup Final, the Galaxy captain is quick to disagree.
“I don’t really subscribe to that theory because I’ve been a part of too many soccer games to know that anything can happen, so if we say ‘let’s play it safe and not play myself or Juni or Edson or anybody,” you might be out of it and the season will be over,” said Donovan. “I’d rather put myself on the line a little bit and make sure that we advance and worry about the rest later as opposed to hoping that we get through the series and rest for the final.”