The L.A. Galaxy will get several key players back from injury ahead of this weekend’s match against Sporting Kansas City, including midfielder designated players Romain Alessandrini and Jonathan dos Santos.
Galaxy head coach Sigi Schmid gave an injury update following Friday morning’s training session and said all players previously on the injured list trained this week — except dos Santos’ brother, midfielder Giovani dos Santos.
“I know [the medical staff] wanted to shut him down this week and keep him inside,” Schmid said regarding Giovani dos Santos. “I think next week he comes back on the field, so it might be another week or two weeks. He was coming back from his injury and it re-tightened up on him. Nothing that he did or we did, but as he trained he felt it get tight again. We backed off and the decision was to give it a little more time.”
Alessandrini injured his hamstring March 4 in the match against the Portland Timbers, giving him only 61 minutes played thus far in the 2018 MLS season. He is eager to make his return, but wants to make sure he is completely healthy before pushing himself too hard.
“I think I need a few weeks to be one hundred percent, but right now I feel good,” Alessandrini said. “I know I can give a lot to the team, so, we’ll see [how it goes] Sunday. Hopefully I can help my team to win.”
Defender Michael Ciani, who missed the last two matches, also is expected to be available Sunday.
Normally, injured players are expected to play limited minutes upon their return to make sure they are able to safely return to match fitness. Schmid faces a unique challenge with so many players returning from injury at one time and Ibrahimovic and Lletget also needing limited minutes.
“When you do your starting line up and you get guys coming off of injury, you want to make sure you don’t have too many starters who you might have to take out after sixty minutes,” Schmid explained.
Having too many healthy player options is a good problem. The Galaxy spent much of the 2017 season addressing a long list of injury concerns, and some fans were afraid the 2018 season was starting in a similar fashion.
The L.A. Galaxy host Sporting Kansas City on Sunday at 6 p.m. PST at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.
Watch Schmid’s entire interview is below.