'Motivator' Beckham set for early return
England World Cup ambassador David Beckham expects to make his return from an Achilles tendon injury in September - two months earlier than first predicted and soon enough to feature in the current MLS season.
Beckham, 34, suffered the injury in March and a six-month lay-off was immediately forecast by the surgeon who operated on him, Sakari Orava before delays led to a revised November return date. But now Beckham believes he will be fit to take part in the final two months of the MLS season - should he honour his Los Angeles Galaxy contract - after making a quicker than expected recovery.
Asked about his likely return date, he told BBC Sport: "Probably September. I said a couple of weeks ago it would be November but the way it's going - I'm sure there will be setbacks along the way but if it continues to go well - hopefully I'll be back at the start of September.
"It's still a long road, I've got a while to go before I even run again. It's going to take time, it's an injury that needs to heal and make sure it's right before I push it in any way but it's going well so far.''
The injury ended any hopes of Beckham playing in the World Cup, but he is still set to be involved in Fabio Capello's squad in a non-playing capacity.
Recalling the moment he suffered the injury, he said: "My first thought was the World Cup. I knew what I'd done straight away and how bad it would be.
"But that's sport - it can happen to anyone at any time. I look back and think 'should I have pushed myself so much in the last couple of years?' but I wouldn't change anything. I've always said that I would love to be involved but that's totally down to the manager and his coaching staff because it's what's best for the team and what's best for the camp.
"I've spoken to the manager and to (Capello's assistant) Franco Baldini and they feel that having me there would be a positive thing for the team, from a motivational point of view. We haven't sat down yet and talked about specifics and what my role will be but I'd love to be there with the team. Whatever the manager wants me to do, I will do that.''
And he feels England can be involved at the business end of the tournament, having qualified with nine wins from 10 games.
He added: "I think there's potential, we wouldn't have qualified like we did if there wasn't a good chance we could be successful. There's still a lot of hard work to be done, we know we've got the right set-up and the team is right, so that's the biggest thing.''