Beckham Toronto-bound but likely to miss MLS debut

August 2, 2007

CARSON, Calif. -- David Beckham's left ankle likely will cause him to miss his scheduled Major League Soccer debut when the Los Angeles Galaxy plays at Toronto FC on Sunday night.

Beckham has been limited to 16 minutes of play in an exhibition game since joining the Galaxy, a layoff that could rule out the 32-year-old midfielder from England's exhibition against Germany at Wembley on Aug. 22.

Beckham will travel with the Galaxy to Toronto, but likely won't play.

"The chances are probably slim," Galaxy coach Frank Yallop said Thursday. "It'd be tough to put him into the lineup with what he's been doing. He may have some part in the game, but we'll see."

Los Angeles will be on the road for 10 consecutive days, playing at D.C. United on Aug. 9 and at New England three days later.

Beckham hasn't trained with the Galaxy since he arrived July 13. Rehabilitation on his left ankle includes cardiovascular work, tissue manipulation and friction massage to break up scar tissue.

"He's just starting to do his running," Yallop said. "I saw him running and he wasn't limping. He just wants to get rid of that real sharp pain, and he wouldn't be running on it if it was hurting that badly."

Beckham made a token appearance at a public training session July 16 and came on in the 78th minute of a 1-0 exhibition loss to England's Chelsea on July 21.

"For him to be match fit, it's probably going to take maybe a couple of games for him to get to that level where he's normally at," Yallop said.

Beckham injured his ankle June 6 while playing for England in a European Championship qualifier and re-aggravated it June 17 in his final game for Real Madrid.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press