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Rewind to Boxing Day 1963

Barclays Premier League
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By ESPN Staff

Beckham may play despite inflamed Achilles

CARSON, Calif. -- Galaxy star David Beckham is confident that an inflamed right Achilles tendon will not keep him from playing Friday night in a game against the Chicago Fire with postseason implications.

"I'll be ready," Beckham said after Thursday's practice. "I don't see why not. I've trained every day this week and I've worked on fitness this week so it's been good.

"Obviously it's hard to practice and train on that, but I don't see it being a problem for tomorrow."

Los Angeles is on the verge of qualifying for the Major League Soccer playoffs for the first time since 2005, when it won the MLS Cup. It would also be the team's first time in the postseason since Beckham arrived in 2007.

"I think it would mean a lot to all of us," Beckham said. "It's been disappointing the last few years not even reaching the playoffs. We've made small steps forward this year and worked hard as a team. Hopefully, the hard work will play off."

Galaxy coach Bruce Arena was taking a more cautious approach.

"We hope he's going to be able to play," Arena said. "We'll see how he reacts to training. Today we just had a light day. He's certainly improved from where he was last week."

The winner Friday will enhance its chances of reaching the MLS playoffs, and would qualify outright if D.C. United loses to or ties Chivas USA on Saturday night. Los Angeles and Chicago have 41 points apiece.

Fire midfielder Cuauhtemoc Blanco did not travel with the team because of a strained left hamstring.

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