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Galaxy coach still expects Landon Donovan to return at some point

Landon Donovan has delayed his return to mull his future and to deal with physical and mental fatigue.
(Saul Martinez / EPA)

Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena reiterated that he expects Landon Donovan, the soccer team’s all-time leading scorer, to rejoin the club “at some point” after an extended leave of absence.

But the question of exactly when the Galaxy’s captain will play again remains unknown.

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“We expect to have Landon back in the near future, and by that I mean I would hope over the next couple of months we have that whole thing settled and he’s back on the field playing for the Galaxy,” Arena said Thursday in a podcast interview on the Galaxy’s website.

Now in preseason camp, the Galaxy open their Major League Soccer season March 3 against the Chicago Fire at Home Depot Center in Carson. Arena has said it’s not yet known whether Donovan would be playing by then.

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Donovan, 30, has delayed his return to mull his future and to deal with physical and mental fatigue after he played 49 games in 48 weeks last year. That included helping lead the Galaxy to their second consecutive MLS championship.

Shortly before the Galaxy won the MLS Cup in December, Donovan said he was “going to take as much time as I need and decide if and when I’m ready to come back.”

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Donovan also is the leading all-time scorer for the U.S. national men’s team, and his absence quickly resurfaced as a hot topic in the soccer world after Honduras defeated the U.S. squad, 2-1, in a World Cup qualifying match Wednesday.

In any case, “I think the time off has been good for [Donovan] and he’s going to be eager to get back on the field,” Arena said.

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