LA Galaxy captain Landon Donovan to return to the field in 2013, no timetable set

CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy captain Landon Donovan will play soccer in 2013, but when he’ll play is still being decided.

The Galaxy captain was not at the club’s first practice on Monday, but head coach Bruce Arena told reporters that Donovan will play, but no timetable had been set at the moment.

We’ve given him a little more time off,” Arena said. “He’s definitely playing this year, but we’re just working out a return date that makes sense for all of us…we’re working that out soon.”

Arena met with Donovan over the weekend and stated the he is feeling well, but needs a little more time off.  Although speculation has swirled around Donovan’s future, Arena admits that he was always confident that he’d be back in 2013.

“No, I thought he was going to come back. I think he just needs a little bit more of an extended leave of absence. He’s got a couple of years that have taken its toll and he needs a little bit more time.”

With the Galaxy’s first MLS game 41 days away, when Donovan does make his return, he’ll need to build his fitness just like any other player.

“He like any player needs the right time. The longer that he takes off, it’ll take him longer to be ready to play,” said Arena. “Generally, we’d like to see some players get three or four weeks to bring their fitness along.”