Galaxy's Donovan tests positive for swine flu
CARSON, Calif. -- Los Angeles Galaxy forward Landon Donovan has tested positive for what is believed to be swine flu, and his teammates are taking precautions.
Donovan was to be evaluated by a doctor on Friday and Saturday, the team said. His status for the Galaxy's game against Seattle on Saturday night remains unclear.
"It certainly depends on how Landon feels and what the doctors tell me," Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said after practice Friday. "He might be an option, depending on how quickly he can turn it around."
Donovan did not practice Friday after playing all 90 minutes for the United States in a 2-1 loss to Mexico in World Cup qualifying Wednesday in Mexico City. SI.com first reported his condition Thursday night.
The United States Soccer Federation said Donovan joined the national team on Aug. 9 in Miami, three days before the game. It also said that no other players expressed or showed signs of flulike symptoms while in camp.
"Even Landon said it hasn't hit him as hard as the normal flus have hit him," Galaxy spokesman Justin Pearson said.
In a statement, the federation said Donovan tested positive for the influenza A virus, which is presumed to be the H1N1 strain known as swine flu.
"We had the flu run through the team last week in Boston," Arena said. "We took the necessary precautions. We had a couple of staff members out a couple of days and on medication."
All Galaxy players and support staff who encountered Donovan have been told they should take Tamiflu for 10 days. Roughly half the players on the U.S. national team are rejoining clubs in Europe, while the rest return to MLS teams.
Also missing Galaxy practice on Friday were David Beckham and Chris Birchall, who played Wednesday for England and Trinidad and Tobago, respectively. They, along with Donovan, received the day off, said Arena, who added that nobody other than Donovan is sick.
"It's not infectious," he said. "We're well past that stage. There are no issues on our team."
Midfielder Chris Klein said that Donovan's possible absence could be pivotal. Donovan, MLS' player of the month for July, has nine goals and five assists.
"It's huge because it's Landon and he's the best player in our league," Klein said. "Any team that doesn't have Landon is going to be a different team."