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Galaxy slowly on the mend

Steven Gerrard

Galaxy midfielder Steven Gerrard stretches during a game against Colorado on March 12.

(David Zalubowski / Associated Press)

The Galaxy have spent the first five weeks of the Major League Soccer season watching a string of players limp to the training room. At Tuesday’s practice session, however, they showed they’re getting healthier with Steven Gerrard, Dan Kennedy, A.J. DeLaGarza, Leonardo and Jeff Larentowicz taking part in the first-team workout.

That leaves only left back Robbie Rogers (hip contusion) and forward Robbie Keane (knee surgery) out of the picture for Friday’s game in Houston. Rogers has not trained since coming out of Sunday’s draw with Portland, and could miss multiple games. Keane, who has missed the last two games, won’t be back for a month.

The Galaxy (2-1-2) are also likely to be without midfielder Nigel de Jong, who is expected to be suspended by the MLS disciplinary committee for a studs-up tackle on Darlington Nagbe in Sunday’s game. De Jong received only a caution on the play though Nagbe was stretchered off the field and needed a wheelchair to get to the locker room.

The Timbers said Tuesday that Nagbe has an ankle sprain and contusion. He will miss Wednesday’s game with FC Dallas, and there is no timetable for his return.

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Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena said he won’t decide on a travel roster for Houston until after Wednesday’s training session. Gerrard, out since March 19 with a calf strain, is among the players Arena appears uncertain about.

“We’ll see,” he said, "[We’ll] get him through training the next couple of days.”

If De Jong is unavailable, that will leave the Galaxy thin in the midfield and could create a need to activate Gerrard or Larentowicz who, like De Jong, is more of a holding player. Larentowicz hasn’t played this season after undergoing surgery for a hernia over the winter.

Meanwhile, Rogers’ absence could make the return of DeLaGarza, who hasn’t played in a month because of a sore foot, important.

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However, Arena said that won’t affect his lineup decisions.

“The guys who have been injured are back and ready to play,” he said. “It has nothing to do with the status of any of our other players.”

Follow Kevin Baxter on Twitter @kbaxter11


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