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Landon Donovan rules ineligible, returns to Los Angeles

Landon Donovan's injury against Real Salt Lake has the hope of two teams suddenly on a tightrope.

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Landon Donovan ruled ineligible, returns home

Landon Donovan will return to Los Angeles tonight after being ruled out of the upcoming FIFA World Cup Qualifiers with a knee injury. Donovan traveled to Miami to join up with the United States National Team on Monday and was evaluated by US Soccer medical staff Tuesday Morning.

Donovan was originally scheduled to have an MRI done Monday, but after feeling much better decided to go straight to Miami. AP later reported that once evaluated by US Soccer staff it was decided he should have a precautionary MRI anyway. What was found on that MRI is still unknown.

Landon Donovan suffered the injury late in the Galaxy's 2-1 loss to Real Salt Lake. He left a divot in the grass after getting knocked down hard on his left knee. Donovan will be re-evaluated by club doctors after he returns to Los Angeles.

Donovan wasn't the only one ruled ineligible for the weekend's qualifiers. Brek Shea was also ruled out, and replacements are not expected for either player. 10 of the 24 players in camp missed this morning's practice, either due to jet lag or minor injuries, according to the AP report.

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Jurgen Klinsmann Updates Media On Landon Donovan

Jurgen Klinsmann updated the media on Landon Donovan's status this morning in a conference call with members of the media. The official word was that Donovan was going to get an MRI on Sunday or Monday, but it seems Donovan improved enough to skip the test.

"We were in touch over the last few days, obviously," said Klinsmann. "He was supposed to do an MRI this morning in LA and he skipped it because it improved a lot during the day."

So instead of getting the MRI, Donovan has decided to go straight to Miami. He'll still be checked out by the US National Team doctors once he arrives, those doctors have been in contact with the LA Galaxy team doctors so everyone is on the same page. Klinsmann also spoke about the role he expects Donovan to play.

"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. If he plays wide or comes through the middle, as long as we create chances and we score goals then it's all fine with me."

Since Donovan skipped his MRI, it seems the next word we get on his status will come from US National Team camp. If their team doctor's clear him, expect Donovan to start on Friday.

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Landon Donovan Disappointed With Injury

Landon Donovan went down in the 81 minute in the LA Galaxy's match against Real Salt Lake on Saturday. He laid down on the pitch for some time after landing on his left knee, leaving a sizable divot. He didn't feel a pop, and didn't have a preliminary diagnosis. He'll undergo tests as soon as possible.

With an international weekend coming up, there's concern that he could miss the United States' match against Guatemala. The US are in a three way tie, only in first by virtue of goal differential.

"I think we're just a little disappointed in the game in general," Landon Donovan said. "Not really worried about [missing international matches] right now"

Indeed, it might be a bit difficult to have perspective on what the injury means going forward after such a disappointing result. Jurgen Klinsmann still hasn't announced his squad for the upcoming international matches, but you can be sure he's on the horn with the Galaxy team doctors right now.

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Donovan Injury Puts World Cup, Galaxy In Jeopardy

LA Galaxy captain Landon Donovan went down in the 81 minute of the Galaxy's match against Real Salt Lake, lying face down on the pitch for several minutes before medical staff went out to get him. He was able to leave the pitch without the stretcher, and didn't walk to the locker room until after the final whistle.

Until tests are done he won't know the extent of his injury, but he seemed unable to put pressure on his left knee. It was a scene very similar to the one last Saturday where A.J. DeLaGarza had to be helped off the pitch in Colorado. The only word given after the match was that Donovan didn't feel good.

The good news is that it's not a reaggravation of Donovan's hamstring injury from August, however Jurgen Klinsmann of the United States national team is certainly going to sleep restlessly tonight not knowing is Donovan will be available for the two World Cup Qualifiers over the weekend. The United States play in Kansas City on Friday in a must win match against Quatemala.

Of course, the Galaxy lost their own must win match against Salt Lake. Already down A.J. DeLaGarza, it's going to be very difficult to get points in San Jose is Donovan is out as well. Seattle could be out of reach by the time they come to The Home Depot Center, with not only their match against Portland tomorrow but a match in hand as well.

The Galaxy are guaranteed a playoff spot, but right now the odds suggest the Galaxy will be hosting either Vancouver or FC Dallas for a shot at playing an aggregate series with San Jose. The odds, as they say, aren't exactly in their favor.

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