Galaxy defender Todd Dunivant wants to return for season opener after nagging hamstring injury
CARSON CALIFORNIA (BDCi) — Todd Dunivant has been on the sidelines for most of the preseason due to a nagging hamstring injury, but on Tuesday the veteran defender returned to full training and hopes to be in the starting lineup for the Galaxy’s season opener on March 8,
The road to recovery has been a frustrating one for Dunivant, given the unpredictable nature of hamstring injuries, however just to return to training was a step in the right direction.
“It’s great to be back out there. It was a tough day too. We did a lot of fitness as well as soccer work,” Dunivant told reporters. “I think I need to get in soccer situations again. You can do all the running that you want on the side, but there’s a different fitness when it comes to soccer. The more that I can get involved in the games is where I’m going to get real fitness.”
Following his first day of training since late January, head coach Bruce Arena stated that Dunivant “still has a ways to go” before he can be considered for a starting spot.
Dunivant is aiming to return for the season opener against Real Salt Lake but he admits that might be a lofty goal with less than two weeks left of training.
“I’m trying to get ready as soon as possible,” said Dunivant. “It’s hard to say at this point. I felt a little clumsy and a little awkward out there today, but I feel like that’s normal for the first day back.”
If Dunivant is unable to go on March 8, the Galaxy could turn to veteran James Riley who has had an impressive preseason. A right back by trade, the injury to Dunivant has forced Riley to move to the opposite flank, where he has shined in six preseason appearances.
“I’m taking it day by day. This would be my 10th season opener that I would start,” Riley said. “Todd is an important player to this organization. I’m just trying to do my bit and earn it every day. It’s competitive every day here and I love that kind of urgency.”
No matter what happens Dunivant feels the left flank will be in good hands once the season starts.
“(Riley) has played great,” said Dunivant. “I’ve always enjoyed watching James, he’s a seasoned pro who can play on both sides.”