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Beckham debut is in doubt with swollen ankle.

CARSON, Calif. (Tuesday, July 17, 2007) -- The worst nightmare of the Los Angeles Galaxy and Major League Soccer presented itself yesteraday when David Beckham's participation in his first practice with his new team and league was limited mostly to smiling and waving to the estimated 1,000 fans to had shown up to watch him work out.

The Galaxy listed Beckham as day-to-day with a swollen left ankle, one he originally injured June 6, playing for England in a 2008 European Championships qualifier and aggravated 11 days later in his final club match with Real Madrid.

MLS finds itself with a dilemma. With Beckham hurt and on the sidelines, the multi-million dollar MLS, adidas and ESPN hype machine will grind to a halt. Rush him back into action too soon and a minor injury could become a major one.

The ailment throws into doubt Beckham's scheduled debut with the Galaxy -- Saturday's nationally-televised, sold-out exhibition at home with English power Chelsea, part of a World Series of Football doubleheader at The Home Depot Center. ESPN planned to devote 19 cameras to following Beckham's every move from his arrival to his departure from the Chelsea match.

"His ankle is quite swollen," Galaxy coach Frank Yallop told the Associated Press. "We're hoping it recovers quickly and he can have some part in the game."

As of this morning, neither the MLS or Galaxy web sites mentioned the Beckham injury.

Galaxy president and general manager Alexi Lalas said it will be up to his training staff to decide if Beckham can play Saturday. "He's getting better. He's still not 100 percent," Lalas told AP. "Yeah, we want him out there. He wants to play, but we have to remind people this is a human and not a robot."

"He's chomping at the bit (to play)," Donovan said.

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