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Landon Donovan’s injury creates concerns for Galaxy and United States national team

Real Salt Lake v Los Angeles Galaxy

CARSON, CA - OCTOBER 06: Landon Donovan #10 of the Los Angeles Galaxy looks on from the bench area after leaving the match injured in the second half during their MLS match against Real Salt Lake at The Home Depot Center on October 6, 2012 in Carson, California. Real Salt Lake defeated the Galaxy 2-1. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)

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Injuries at this time of year always carry an exaggerated effect due to upcoming playoffs.

In Landon Donovan’s case, it’s a double whammy – and potentially a highly significant one. Donovan’s injury last night against Real Salt Lake carries World Cup qualifying implications, too.

Donovan limped off the field ever so gingerly last night after an 81st-minute collision as he aggressively chased a ball near Real Salt Lake goal.

He and RSL defender Jamison Olave became tangled and both fell awkwardly. Of what appeared to be a left knee injury, Donovan could tell reporters only that it “didn’t feel good” and that further test will happen “as soon as possible.”

(MORE: Highlights from Real Salt Lake’s 2-1 win)

The Galaxy has a week off for the international break. But it’s that international break that makes this situation so precarious.

United States national team manager Jurgen Klinsmann will release his latest roster Monday as the team prepares for two World Cup qualifiers. His side gathers Monday in Miami to begin preparations for matches at Antigua and Barbuda and then in Kansas City against Guatemala.

(MORE: The United States has little margin for error)

This one deserves close monitoring – for what it means to both teams.