An injured left ankle may bench the star at Saturday's game in L.A.

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated July 17, 2007 10:30 AM

David Beckham‘s highly anticipated American soccer debut for the Los Angeles Galaxy may not happen Saturday as scheduled, the Los Angeles Times reports.

As of Monday, Beckham’s injured left ankle – which the 32-year-old sustained early last month while playing for England in a Euro 2008 qualifying game – remained swollen and sore, the paper says, threatening to delay his weekend kick-off against Chelsea at L.A.’s Home Depot Center.

Coach Frank Yallop said the sports star may have further aggravated his condition because of the long flight last Thursday from the U.K. to L.A., where the Beckhams have now taken up residence.

Beckham – whose contract with the Galaxy is said to be worth $250 million over five years – bypassed a team workout Monday in favor of 45 minutes of light work with trainer Ivan Pierra or with a fellow injured athlete, according to the Times. In addition, he stretched – and juggled balls, which the paper labeled more of a performance than training session.

Later that day, Beckman confirmed the possibility he may still be out Saturday, but said, “Hopefully I’ll be all right.”

“There’s always a possibility that he will not be playing because of his injury, but hopefully he will be,” Yallop replied when asked if Beckham might be benched this weekend.

The coach added, “We’re not going to force him to play. That would be wrong. If he’s ready to play, he will, but we’ll wait and see. We won’t put him in any danger of making it long-term.”