England star midfielder David Beckham missed practice for therapy on a back injury, raising doubts the Los Angeles Galaxy star will be able to play against FC Barcelona here on Saturday.
Beckham sustained the injury three days ago but downplayed the pain in his back, saying he expects to practice on Friday.
“It’s not a problem,” Beckham said. “I’ve had something like this in the past. It comes up every now and then. I just did my work in the gym and got some treatment.”
Barcelona comes off an unprecedented treble, having won the European Champions League, Spain’s first division title and the Spanish Copa del Rey crown this season.
Beckham plans to play against the European side before the Galaxy return to the hunt for a Major League Soccer playoff berth.
“I hope so, unless I have a bad reaction from the last couple of days,” said Beckham. “But I think it will be fine. It’s feeling a lot better that it was so, fingers crossed, it will be good.”
Arena was confident that Beckham will be available, saying, “We expect him to be ready on Saturday” and that the England stalwart was “just nursing something.”
After two lackluster seasons serving as an attendance and television viewership lure, Beckham finds himself the target of jeers. He challenged Galaxy fans who yelled at him during a home exhibition against AC Milan to meet him on the field and was fined 1,000 dollars for the move.
Beckham said the secret to handling fan abuse was “just ignoring it as much as you can.”