David Beckham is unlikely to make his second appearance for Los Angeles Galaxy against Mexican side Pachuca on Tuesday because of his swollen left ankle, says Galaxy coach Frank Yallop.
Although Beckham played for 12 minutes in his much-hyped Galaxy debut against Chelsea on Saturday, Yallop said the England midfielder needed more time to recover.
"He didn't train today and he is doubtful for tomorrow," Yallop told a news conference in Hollywood on Monday to launch the inaugural SuperLiga competition.
"He's getting normal ice treatment and a lot of massage to try and get the swelling down. His ankle is still a little bit tight, although it has improved over the last week. But he needs to get to a point where he's comfortable.
"We will have another look in the morning and, if it looks really good, then you never know. He might come on toward the end. But realistically we will probably wait until the weekend."
The Galaxy are scheduled to host Pachuca at the Home Depot Center on Tuesday in their opening SuperLiga match before taking on Mexican club Guadalajara at the Los Angeles Coliseum on Saturday.
The SuperLiga, which offers $1 million to the inaugural champions, is an eight-team competition featuring four Major League Soccer sides from the U.S. and four teams from the Mexican first division, Reuters reports.
But first, the league needs Beckham in the lineup on a regular basis.
Galaxy coach Frank Yallop said that if Beckham is able to play at all Tuesday night, it wouldn't be until late in the game.
"We don't want to make it worse, and he's still a little bit sore," the coach said. "We're forever hopeful he'd be back in a uniform and running out for us as soon as he can - next weekend or the following Tuesday."
More realistic for Beckham is the team's second SuperLiga game against Chivas on Saturday. It has been moved to the Los Angeles Coliseum to handle an expected huge crowd.
Beckham's injury has "certainly added to the drama of what's been going on here the last week or so and for the next couple of weeks," Garber said.
The commissioner denied that pressure was exerted from sponsors and ESPN to get Beckham into Saturday's game.
"That just couldn't be further from the truth," Garber said. "Look at what we would look like if we had sponsor or commercial pressures forcing him to play a game, and having him get injured and never playing again. We'd be pretty dumb."
Beckham's biggest problem is swelling in his ankle, Yallop said.
"It's really tight in there," he said. "He was uncomfortable on Saturday, you could tell. It's going to be a little bit sore when he's playing, but not as sore as it was on Saturday. That's what we're trying to get to."
Beckham's designated stand-in at the news conference, defender Abel Xavier, didn't make it, either. The Galaxy had no players in attendance.
Garber acknowledged the league has "been putting a lot of pressure" on Galaxy players to do promotion, but his message to the team Monday was "practice and beat Pachuca."
The SuperLiga tournament features two four-team groups playing round-robin matches, with the top two teams from each group meeting in the semifinals Aug. 14-15. The final is Aug. 29, with the winning team earning $1 million - the largest soccer purse in North America history, the AP reports.
Prepared by Alexander Timoshik
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