The Galaxy appear likely to start the Major League Soccer season without two of their most important players as forward Gyasi Zardes and right back Robbie Rogers continue to rehab stubborn injuries less than three weeks before the team’s March 4 opener.
Zardes, 25, underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee after being injured while training with the U.S. national team last month. Zardes hasn’t played in an MLS game since suffering a broken bone in his right foot in August and there is no timetable for his return.
Jack McBean, 22, started both of the team’s two preseason exhibitions in Zardes’ place.
Rogers’ situation might be more serious. The Galaxy defender has struggled with ankle problems the past two years, undergoing off-season surgery for bone spurs in fall 2015 before missing five weeks last summer after arthroscopic ankle surgery.
Rogers, 29, also hasn’t trained with the first team in several weeks and was replaced in the two preseason games by Rafael Garcia, a 28-year-old midfielder with just seven career MLS starts. After trading A.J. DeLaGarza to Houston last month, the Galaxy are particularly thin on the back line with the two backup defenders listed on the team’s 23-man roster having combined for 10 MLS starts.
Asked Tuesday about the fitness of the two players, a Galaxy spokesman offered few details, saying that Rogers “has been receiving treatment … for an ankle injury” while Zardes “is progressing” and “should be back to training soon.”