Landon Donovan returns to the Galaxy, is on the bench vs. Toronto


Landon Donovan's break from soccer is over and he may make his season debut today in Toronto, where he is on the bench.

Landon Donovan returned to training with the LA Galaxy this week and is already available to play, making the bench for this afternoon's match against Toronto FC. Whether he actually plays will be left up to Bruce Arena.

Donovan took a break from the sport after MLS Cup in December, citing mental fatigue and just rejoined the team, but he has always been known as one of the most fit players in the league so most expected him back to fitness and on the field quickly. This is a shockingly quick return even for Donovan, though.

The Galaxy have coped well without Donovan, taking seven of nine points to start the season and advancing to the semifinals of the CONCACAF Champions League. That's especially impressive because not only were they without Donovan, but they have yet to sign a replacement for David Beckham.

With Donovan on hiatus, LA has used some younger players to great effect. 19-year-old Jose Villarreal has been spectacular, playing predominantly as a withdrawn striker, and 18-year-old Jack McBean parlayed a nice match last week into a second consecutive start in Toronto.

In all, Donovan missed five matches to start the season -- three in league and two in the Champions League. But he's back, even if only on the bench to start.

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