Los Angeles Galaxy standout midfielder Landon Donovan will play Major League Soccer this season, coach Bruce Arena said Monday.
As the Galaxy opened preseason practice in the Home Depot Center, Donovan was not with the team. Arena said he's not sure when Donovan will arrive, but Donovan told him he definitely will not retire or sit out in 2013.
After last season, Donovan, 30, hinted that might take a break from the game. He is the U.S. national team's career leader in scoring and assists.
"We've given him a little more time off," Arena told reporters. "He's definitely playing this year. We're just working out the return date that makes sense for all of us."
The Galaxy will begin the regular season on March 3 at home against the Chicago Fire. Arena didn't seem particularly worried about Donovan's training before then.
"The older players, they prefer less time because it wears them down," Arena said. The younger players can deal with the grind a little bit better.
"But generally we'd like to see players get three to four weeks in before they're ready to play. Then you need some real competitive matches to bring your fitness along."
Robbie Keane also was among the Galaxy players absent for the start of camp. He's in London training with the Tottenham Hotspur.