October 8, 2012
By Michael Lewis
NO WOUNDED KNEE
Donovan bounces back, joins team for WCQ
On Sunday, Landon Donovan looked questionable as to whether he could join the U.S. National Team for World Cup qualifying.
Landon Donovan's left knee recovered so well he joined the U.S. in Miami.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
Late in the LA Galaxy's 2-1 loss to Real Salt Lake on Saturday, Donovan suffered an injury to his left knee. In fact, he needed to be stretchered off the field, but has bounced back and joined the team in Miami.
U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann said that the veteran midfielder-forward was "looking really good."
Klinsmann said he had been in contact with the 30-year-old Donovan via text messages the past two days.
"He was actually supposed to have an MRI this morning but he skipped it because he improved a lot [Sunday] during the day," Klinsmann said during a media conference call on Monday. "We spoke [Sunday] night and he said if things were better this morning, he would skip the MRI and come straight to Miami. Both look very positive.”
The U.S. will train in Miami through Wednesday before flying to Antigua & Barbuda on Thursday for Friday's game.
Klinsmann did not sound as though he had made up his mind whether Donovan would play as a midfielder or forward.
When asked which position, the U.S. coach replied, “Well, definitely as an attacking player. If he comes wide or if he comes behind two strikers, what we need in these two games is to create chances and we need to score goals. We’re obviously happy Landon is part of these two games. So if he plays wide or if he comes up the middle, as long as we create chances and score goals, it’s all fine with me.”
Donovan certainly will be welcomed back into the U.S. fold after missing both qualifying matches against Jamaica in September due to a hamstring injury.
He is the U.S.'s all-time international goal-scorer with 49 goals in 144 matches.