Thursday, August 30, 2007

Six weeks

David Beckham will be out six weeks with a right MCL sprain. Ouch.

Six weeks puts us at Oct. 10. The Galaxy's last three games of the season are against Toronto on Oct. 13, New York on Oct. 18 and at Chicago on Oct. 21, though I would seriously doubt he appears in any of those games.

In all likelihood, Beckham's played his final (meaningful) game this year.

I don't think things could have possibly been any worse for Beckham in his first year in MLS. Different people will have different opinions about who is ultimately responsible. Some will blame the Galaxy, others will blame the league, still others will blame Frank Yallop and then there'll be some blame placed on Beckham himself (though few will probably blame Steve McClaren for running Beckham out for 90 minutes in a friendly).

Yallop took the blame for having played Beckham 90 minutes against Chivas USA but who knows if that was actually his decision or if Beckham demanded to play or what the circumstances were.

In the end, though, the fact is that Beckham's first MLS season was far more hype than substance because of his injuries. He delivered in one sense, in that he forced people and the media to pay attention to Major League Soccer. But that came at a heavy price, as Beckham admitted he rushed back from injury too fast and this final blow happened because he tried to overcompensate for his gimpy ankle.

At least we can all hope Beckham will rest and won't be under duress for the start of the 2008 season, though that may as well be a decade down the road.


cj howareya said...

I will happily blame Steve McClaren. I've been besmirching his name all over the Interwebs for that call up and 90 minute Beckahm decision, so I'll happily do it here as well.

Not that it needs much more besmirching than the smirch job the English media have (rightly) laid on him.

But it's a group grope, blame-wise. I think absolutely everybody got it wrong: MLS, AEG, Lalas, Yallop, Second Choice Steve and Bex himself -- even though he'll escape my scorn because I am an official convert: After being thoroughly annoyed by all the hype and disruption, the idiotic coverage, the Beckham-Cam, the Dave O'Briens and even Waldo focusing everything on David, he's already proven his commitment to me at least.

Bad decisions notwithstanding, he's come to play. It's still early, but hopefully he'll have a real season.

Oh yeah, unless England make it to Euro'08...
Oh, and unless he's called up for WC 2010 qualifiers...


Bonji said...

In a perfect world Becks would have gone through rehab after he injured the ankle in his off-season before coming to MLS. He chose vacation and put himself in this predicament.

He's still done a lot to raise the profile of MLS, but it would have been nice to see what else he can do on the field. Hopefully he'll rehab properly this time and come back fully fit with something to prove in 2008.

diane said...

I'm really struggling with the blame the player for his injuries outlook. Not just on this site.

I don't see where Beckham could have made these decisions. They're not his. I know I'm repeating myself, but ALL players are supposed to say put me in coach. The coach decides, some take the player's opinion into account, and some don't even do that. But before that can happen, the medical team decides whether the player should even be on the bench asking. Usually a team's insurance company has a hand in regulating who clears players to be available. Beckham should never have been cleared until he was fit (which includes at least some of the conditioning that's kept him relatively -- to the extent any footballer can be -- injury free through most of his career).

Bonji. The only thing Beckham was told by RM's physios was that his ankle needed rest before he could resume training (without benefit of an MRI). He took a one week vacation with his wife and then hired his own trainer to do cardio work with, still staying off the ankle, for the remaining time he had off before coming to the states. It may not have been the right rehab, but he wasn't sleeping on a beach for six weeks.

Beckham had played two seasons with the World Cup spanning the break in between by the time he left RM in June. So did a lot of international players, but I still don't begrudge him the week.

Whatever other injury related mistakes have been made, the two clearest are that RM dropped the ball on medical treatment after Beckham played his last match for them, and that the Galaxy dropped the ball on medical treatment before Beckham played his first match for them. As for the England national team, nothing McClaren does is ever clear, and he almost always drops the ball.