Photo by David Bernal/ISIphotos.com
By FRANCO PANIZO
Those worried about the status of Omar Gonzalez can breathe a little easier.
LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said confidently on Tuesday that he does not believe the left knee injury Omar Gonzalez suffered this past weekend is all that serious, according to multiple reports out of Los Angeles. Gonzalez picked up the knee issue late in the first half of the Galaxy’s 1-0 loss at the Colorado Rapids and was replaced at halftime, but Arena said it should not prevent the 25-year-old centerback from returning to action soon.
“We’re going to talk to the doctors today and find out a little bit more. It’s a very short term issue and he’s going to be fine,” said Arena. “We’re doing everything to be safe with Omar and if we have anything to say, we’ll say it at the proper time. I feel very strongly that this is a short term issue and he’ll be fine.
“Mentally, a player with a full calendar of things ahead is very precautious. He’s going to be fine. There is nothing long term with this injury, I can promise you that.”
Gonzalez is expected to be included in the 30-man preliminary World Cup roster that Jurgen Klinsmann is set to release in the coming days. The injury caused an initial scare as to whether the Designated Player would be able to partake in that camp and the tournament in Brazil in June, but Arena’s comments should lessen those fears.
That, however, does not necessarily mean that Gonzalez will suit up for the Galaxy’s next game. LA visit the Portland Timbers at Providence Park on Sunday.
“If Omar is good to go to go then he’ll go. If he’s not then he won’t, it’s that simple,” said Arena about the upcoming MLS tilt. “I don’t think that it’s the turf. All things being equal, maybe (the turf) would play a role, but right now, we’ll take it day by day and we’re going to talk to the doctors to make sure that we’re moving along in the right way.”
The 6-foot-5 defender has started each of the Galaxy’s six league games thus far this season, helping the club post two shutouts and recording an assist.
What do you make of Arena’s comments? Refuse to be optimistic until there is a diagnosis from a doctor? Do you see Gonzalez being ready for this weekend’s game and the start of the USMNT’s pre-World Cup camp?
Share your thoughts below.