The soccer star's knee injury won't interfere with his move to L.A., a source tells PEOPLE

By Pete Norman
Updated March 04, 2007 10:00 PM

David Beckham has been ordered to remain on the sidelines for six weeks after suffering a knee injury during a soccer match Sunday night in Spain, a source close to the soccer star tells PEOPLE.

“David has suffered ligament damage in his right leg,” says the source. “It’s not good news but it could have been a lot worse.”

Beckham put in a spirited performance for Spanish team Real Madrid but strained his right leg after reaching for the ball and crashing into advertising signs near the opposition goal. The injury occurred during the second half of his team’s 1-1 draw against Getafe.

After the injury, Beckham, 31, tried to play on but limped off in the 63rd minute. He was later diagnosed as damaging the lateral internal ligament of his right leg.

According to the source: “It won’t affect the family’s move to the United States.”

There were fears that Beckham’s injury would impact plans for the soccer star, his wife Victoria and their three children to move to America later this year.

In January, Beckham inked a five-year deal with L.A. Galaxy that is worth up to $250 million with endorsements. Last week it was announced that Victoria Beckham, 32, would star in a six-part reality show on NBC about her move to America.

Before the match on Sunday, the couple had taken sons Brooklyn, Romeo, 4, and Cruz, 2 to a Madrid burger restaurant. “The kids had a ball. It was Brooklyn’s eighth birthday party,” says the friend. “And all his school friends were there too.”

Beckham’s hopes of rejoining the English national team this year were also dashed after the injury on Sunday night. Beckham had played well, even firing one shot into the opposition’s goal crossbar.

The sole saving grace is that the couple’s children will now see a whole lot more of Dad. “He is not happy about the injury but he can still raise a smile,” says the soccer source. “David will be back on the field real soon.”