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Donovan’s knee checked as US soccer team works out

- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 9, 2012

MIAMI (AP) - Landon Donovan missed a workout Tuesday to have an MRI on his left knee while the U.S. national team began getting ready for two World Cup qualifying matches.

There was no immediate word on the test result, though U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann did not sound worried. Donovan was hurt Saturday while playing for the Los Angeles Galaxy, but saw some improvement before boarding a flight to join the American team in Miami on Monday.

"We're very, very positive on Landon," Klinsmann said. "Just to be 1,000 percent sure, he's doing an MRI. He was supposed to do that actually in L.A. (Monday) morning, but he skipped it because he felt so good."

U.S. Soccer officials expected to receive word about Donovan's status later Tuesday.

About 10 of the 24 players on the roster missed the morning practice for a variety of reasons _ from jet lag to treatment of minor injuries. Klinsmann expects the full roster to be available for a gym session later in the day, and the assumption is that they would all be ready for training Wednesday as well.

Klinsmann announced the roster Monday for the two matches that could be critical to the Americans' bid to play in the 2014 tournament in Brazil. The U.S. plays at Antigua and Barbuda on Friday and is home against Guatemala on Oct. 16.

The U.S., Guatemala and Jamaica all have seven points after the first four matches of Group A play in this qualifying round, and only two of the three will advance. Antigua and Barbuda has one point through four matches. For the U.S. to reach next year's regional finals, four points _ a win and a tie _ would seem to be the most probable requirement.

Donovan is the national team's career leader in several categories, including goals (49), assists (48) and matches started (130). U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard said he dined with Donovan after arriving in Miami and suggested he wasn't concerned about whether the team's best scorer would be available Friday.

"I don't really worry about the senior players," Howard said. "Landon always seems to get the job done. ... If he's fit and ready to play, he'll be raring to go."

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