CARSON, Calif.-- Ahead of a friendly with world powerhouse Barcelona, Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder David Beckham is expecting to shrug off some back pain to be fit for the game.
“I've got a slight back pain, but it's not a problem,” he told the congregated press at the Home Depot Center, saying it's been bothering him for two days. “I was just doing my work in the gym and then I've got some treatment. It should be fine, I should be back training tomorrow.”
Having missed most of training on Thursday, Beckham is still optimistic about training Friday and being ready for the game on Saturday.
“I hope so, unless I have a bad reaction from the last couple days, but I think it'll be fine. It's feeling a lot better than it was yesterday, so fingers crossed it will be good.”
Head coach and general manager Bruce Arena shared that optimism that his designated player would be fully fit for the Barcelona match.
“Just nursing something,” he said of Beckham's absence from training. “We expect him to be ready on Saturday.”
When the England international arrived in America two years ago, he played through an ankle injury that heavily hindered his form. Both Arena and Beckham pointed toward the 34-year-old's good health as a reason for his impressive display this year, and hoped it would continue.
“I've never hidden the fact that when I'm fully fit and in good shape I can play at my best,” Beckham stated. “I hope that continues; I feel in good shape. I had obviously the month's rest over the summer and came straight back into it and been working hard with the guys. Hopefully my fitness continues. It's important that I do that, and hopefully then I can play at a high level.”
Arena agreed on the health of his player, but also pointed out that he's brought in some reinforcements to the team.
“Well he’s healthier for a start and the players around him are better,” the former United States national team coach said of Beckham's form. “That helps some of David’s better qualities and if he’s got better players around him, his play will be more of a factor than it was the last couple of years. Just simply the fact that he’s healthier, I think we’re going to see his best in the months of September, October and hopefully, November.”
Zac Lee Rigg, Goal.com
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