Beckham targets November comeback

David Beckham does not expect to return to competitive action until November, he told US television yesterday.

If his estimate is correct, Beckham could miss the whole of the Major League Soccer season for Los Angeles Galaxy, with the American domestic campaign concluding on November 21.

The 34-year-old suffered the injury playing for AC Milan in March and was almost immediately ruled out of England's plans for the World Cup, though he may still travel to South Africa in a non-playing capacity.

Speaking backstage to the presenters of ABC show The View, Beckham said: "I won't be running for another three months so I'll be playing again in, probably, November."

Beckham added on "This is an injury that is going to take time to heal. I'm only six weeks in after the surgery. I started therapy 10 days ago and just doing that every day. I kind of want to push it but with this kind of injury you can't. You just have to wait for it to heal and then move on.

"At the moment it's just getting the motion back into the ankle, the tendon, because obviously it's still repairing. I can't stretch too much, I have to wear a boot every day. If I haven't got a boot on, which I didn't today for a few interviews, I have to use crutches - it's one or the other at the moment. It's a pain. It's not easy moving around, but I have to protect it."

The surgeon who operated on Beckham in March, Sakari Orava, said at the time that six months was the likely time the player would be out.

"It is always so in a normal athlete but in a top-level (athlete) it is difficult to say, sometimes sooner, sometimes later," Orava said.