Officially, both Chicharito and Jonathan dos Santos are listed as questionable for the LA Galaxy ahead of Saturday’s El Trafico showdown against LAFC at Banc of California Stadium. But their statuses for the game appear to be considerably different.
Dos Santos is training fully, albeit for the past week, after missing the MLS is Back Tournament for LA due to a hernia surgery.
“I just came to train with the team, my first week training with them, so I don’t feel 100 percent, but I feel good,” dos Santos told reporters on a conference call Thursday. “The most important thing is that my injury is healed, I feel really good, I’m happy to be back with the team. It’s been a long time without playing and feeling good. I’ve been training the last couple months with pain and it’s been hard for me, but right now I feel really good.”
The midfielder did say he did not feel he was ready to play a full match, however.
“I don’t feel 100 percent to play 90 minutes, but I feel good to play 30, 45 minutes, I don’t know yet but I’m happy to be back.”
Galaxy head coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto confirmed he expects to play dos Santos Saturday.
“We did everything we can to get better,” Schelotto said. “Jonathan was training with us the last two weeks and he’s training and he’s ready for play.”
However, even with the official “questionable” designation, Schelotto sounded like Chicharito would not be available Saturday.
“About Chicharito...he’s not ready, he’s not training yet,” Schelotto said. “He’s with the medical staff working and trying to get him fit. I don’t know when he’ll be ready, but I hope as soon as possible because we need him. We need a player like him on the pitch, because you know how important he can be on this team.”
The striker missed the final two games — including the last El Trafico — of the MLS is Back Tournament after suffering a calf injury. When asked if the ailment turned out to be worse than originally believed, Schelotto said he thought Chicharito was on track for the injury.
“He broke his muscle, the calf, and sometimes this issue takes you about four or five weeks. I hope he will be ready next week because we need him as soon as possible,” he said.
As for the El Trafico showdown, with LA winless in 2020 and having lost the last two games against LAFC, Schelotto is focused on good preparation and firmly looking to the future.
“We need to treat this game like a derby. We need to prepare to play a really good team with really good players, good coach with a lot of experience,” he said.
“We need to think about the future, not what happened last time.”
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