Carson, California:Two weeks after his splashy introduction with the Los Angeles Galaxy and a week after playing briefly in his first game, David Beckham remains a bit of an enigma.
Blame it on a nagging left ankle injury that has kept the English star off the practice field and mostly out of sight since joining the team on July 13.
Beckham will miss his second straight game on Saturday when the Galaxy play 11-time Mexican champion Chivas in a SuperLiga game at Los Angeles Coliseum.
"He won't be playing tomorrow, but he's feeling better, the soreness is going," Galaxy coach Frank Yallop said on Friday. "He gets a lot of work done on it and it gets sore, then the work that he's had done is obviously helping it, so the soreness keeps getting lighter and lighter. Once he gets out here and puts his boots on, he'll be close to being ready to go."
Beckham missed another training session on Friday while receiving treatment. The scar tissue in his ankle has caused pain, tightness and restricted his movement, although he is doing cardio work, Yallop said.
"We can't send him out there if he's not going to play well," the coach added.
Yallop said the team is targeting Aug. 5 at Toronto for Beckham's return, which would be the start of a four-game Mazjor League Soccer road trip.
That leaves Beckham questionable for Tuesday's SuperLiga game against FC Dallas in Texas. Yallop said the team would decide on Monday whether Beckham would travel if he can't play.
Yallop urged patience for fans who bought tickets expecting to see Beckham.
"They'll have plenty of opportunity to see him, but we want to make sure they see a good product, too," the coach said. "It's not about him stepping on for five minutes and waving."
Saturday's game was moved to the Coliseum to accommodate a crowd the Galaxy are estimating at 40,000 to 50,000. Chivas is Mexico's most popular team and has a huge fan base among Southern California's Latino population.
"I know it's not going to be a Galaxy lovefest, that's for damn sure," Galaxy's Landon Donovan said. "I'm approaching it as if we're going to an away game."
Chivas midfielder Ramon Morales had been looking forward to playing against Beckham.
"Playing against important players and good players like Beckham always provides a greater enticement, greater motivation," Morales said in Spanish. "We hope he can be on the field, even if he's injured. He's going to improve the technical level, the physical level and the competitive level of soccer."