Los Angeles Galaxy left back Todd Dunivant, after nursing a right hamstring injury, is expected to be available for the second leg of the 2010 MLS Western Conference semifinal against the Seattle Sounders on Nov. 7.
“I did everything [in training Wednesday],” Dunivant said. “I’m still trying to be smart about it, ease into the week a little bit and not test it too much. But I did everything and didn’t have any restrictions. That’s a good sign."
Outgoing defender Eddie Lewis did well to fill in Dunivant's shoes in the first leg, which resulted in a 1-0 Los Angeles victory.
“I think I ate extra well,” Lewis said on his start and the ensuing cravings that followed. “I figured I better fuel up because I have to get my running shoes on. These things happen all the time. That’s why you always keep one eye on things in case you get the call.”
“We kind of decided on Sunday it didn’t make sense to play through that,” Dunivant said. “Potentially I’d be out for the rest of the playoffs and potentially put our team in danger as well. I didn’t want to go out there for 10 minutes and then get subbed. That’s not good.
“I felt something on Thursday and tried to push through it. I trained on Friday, trained on Saturday. It just got worse and worse each day.
"We were talking whether to try and give it a go anyway on Sunday and ultimately the trainers, Bruce, all of us kind of decided that it didn’t make sense to try and play through that and potentially be out the rest of the playoffs and also to potentially put our team in danger as well.”
It was the decision made four hours before kickoff of that match that allowed Lewis to keep Sanna Nyassi, Fredy Montero, Steve Zakuani, Blaise Nkufo and the rest of the Sounders attack at bay.
“We knew they were going to press us, and a lot of their strengths come from the outside,” Galaxy defender Sean Franklin said. “We just have to be ready for the same thing this weekend.”
“Eddie’s been around a long time and knows how to play,” Dunivant remarked. “He’s a gamer. He got out there and did the job. He hasn’t started in a match in long time and stepped in the playoffs in a very difficult situation against a very fast player [and] Eddie completely shut [Nyassi] down."
When asked of his prospects of starting, Dunivant fancied his chances.
“We’re very optimistic,” Dunivant said. “[I] had an MRI this week and there were no major tears, no major inflammation. It was a mild strain. Not playing kind of avoided making it a lot worse."
Whether or not he would start is, of course, a game-time decision by manager Bruce Arena.
“I’ll leave that up to Bruce,” Dunivant said, “but we’re in good hands either way.”
“We’ll see,” Lewis said. “Bruce has talked all season about the strength of the squad and kind of the way he’s built the team. You hope a guy can step in, even under difficult circumstances, and carry on."
“Last week it worked out quite well, and we'll see how this week plays out.”
Kickoff is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. PT/9:00 p.m. ET and will be televised by ESPN and ESPN Deportes.