Beckham could miss the rest of the Los Angeles Galaxy's season after being diagnosed with a sprained right knee Thursday. The English midfielder underwent an MRI exam that confirmed he sprained the medial collateral ligament in his knee, the team said in a statement.
The injury also means he won't be joining England's squad. Beckham had planned to fly to London on Sunday for 10 days with the team as it prepares to play Israel and Russia in two European Championship qualifying games.
The 32-year-old Beckham was injured in a tackle with Pachuca midfielder Fernando Salazar in the first half of Wednesday night's SuperLiga title match. The Galaxy lost 4-3 on penalty kicks.
He was expected to be out about six weeks, and will immediately begin rehabilitation, the team said.
"It's just gone from one thing to another thing," Beckham said Wednesday night. "Maybe it's time for me to just say, 'I need the rest,' and get it right and don't come back until it's right."
He had already been nursing a left ankle injury that caused him to miss seven games since joining the team July 13. That injury occurred while he was playing for England on June 6.
Beckham's extended absence deals a serious blow to the already slim chance the Galaxy had of making the playoffs. Its Major League Soccer record is 3-10-5 - last in the Western Conference.
"He shouldn't play, to be honest. He's hurt, but he's playing," Galaxy coach Frank Yallop said Wednesday night. "That shows the character of him and it shows the character of the team because he lifts the team when he plays.
"It's hard because he's struggling with injury. He's trying his best."