The LA Galaxy have announced that Landon Donovan will return to the club in training on the final week in March. Donovan requested an extended leave of absence after MLS Cup 2012, and has been in contact with Bruce Arena trying to work out a return date.
"After a series of collaborative discussions between Landon, his representative and our key club leaders, we have agreed to allow Landon to remain on an extended leave of absence and return to training with the team during the final week of March," Galaxy General Manager and Head Coach Bruce Arena said. "We understand this arrangement is not ideal, but we are confident it will allow Landon the time he needs to be both mentally and physically prepared for the upcoming season. We remain focused on our preparation for the start of the 2013 season and look forward to Landon rejoining us next month."
Thus far, all communication with respect to Landon Donovan has come through Bruce Arena. We're yet to get a statement from Donovan himself as to why he's requested this leave of absence. Establishing a firm return date is a step in the right direction, but there are still far more questions than answers.
This is going to have far reach affects on the roster. Mike Magee could end up starting up top with Robbie Keane, and we could see both the outside midfielder spots occupied by folk who haven't had a permanent spot in the starting XI. Alternatively, Jack McBean could start next to Robbie Keane. The month of March is going to be quite interesting.
Who knows how long it's going to take Donovan to get match fit. It's possible the Galaxy won't see him suit up until May. Last year's club certainly proves that a slow start isn't damning. We'll see how this plays out when the season kicks off in a couple weeks.