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Beckham hopes injury won't keep him out tomorrow

DAVID Beckham hopes that a minor back injury will not prevent him from playing in the Los Angeles Galaxy's friendly against Barcelona tomorrow at the Rose Bowl.

Beckham missed practice yesterday to receive therapy for a back injury that he said he sustained three days ago.

"It's not a problem," Beckham said of his back pain. "I've had something like this in the past. It comes up every now and then. I just did my work in the gym and got some treatment so I should be back training (Friday)."

Does that mean that he will play against Barcelona, which became the first Spanish club to win the Champions' League, Spanish league and cup in the same season this year?

"I hope so unless I have a bad reaction from the last couple of days," Beckham said. "But I think it'll be fine. It's feeling a lot better than it was (Wednesday) so, fingers crossed, it'll be good."

Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said Beckham was "just nursing something" and added, "we expect him to be ready on Saturday."

Arena also expressed optimism the midfielder would remain free from injury for the rest of the season.

"Just the fact that he's healthier (means) I think we're going to see his very best in September, October and, hopefully, November," Arena said.

Beckham added that he wants to deal with fan criticism differently than in the recent past.

The English star challenged a group of critical Galaxy fans to meet him on the field during halftime of a July 19 home friendly against AC Milan, and tried to climb over advertising boards. Beckham received a $1,000 fine from MLS commissioner Don Garber last week.

The midfielder said the solution was "just ignoring it (fan criticism) as much as you can."


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