GALAXY: Beckham battles fractured spine

David Beckham was back on the practice field Friday and optimistic, to a point, that he could be ready to go for the Galaxy's Fourth of July bash with the Seattle Sounders, but those back spasms that sidelined him the last two games are something more serious.

Beckham describes his injury as a "slight stress fracture in the spine" and says the "pain 10 days ago was bad." But plenty of rehab the last two weeks, primarily to strengthen the back, was enough to get him back onto the field, even if he wasn't involved in everything.

"I'm feeling better," said Beckham, who is listed as questionable on MLS's injury report after missing the victory June 18 at Colorado and last weekend's scoreless draw at San Jose. "It's a slow process, but it's getting better."

He said he has been miserable the last couple of weeks -- "I hate missing games, hate missing training" -- but "being out here with the guys again and being part of it again ... it's a good day today."

Beckham sustained the injury during a heavy training session on June 14, the day after returning from a 2012 Olympics appearance in London. "I just felt a little bit from then, and then it just got progressively worse ...," he said. "I don't know whether it's an old injury or new injury, just one of those things that flared up. It's not a big problem. I'm back with the guys training, so it's getting better."

Galaxy coach Bruce Arena says the chances are "probably not great" Beckham will be available for Monday night's game at Home Depot Center, and the English midfielder says he's not certain if he can play.

"I'm just going to have to see how it reacts over [the next couple of days]," Beckham said. "I've had a lot of treatment, a lot of work done, over the last few days and especially over the last couple of weeks. So hopefully it reacts in the right way."

DUE DATE: Beckham and his wife, Victoria, are expecting their fourth child, a daughter, any day now. The due date is July 4, but when asked Friday if he was anticipating a family addition this weekend, he replied: "Not that I know of. We'll have to wait and see. It's close. It's pretty close."

Beckham also hopes to see Prince William when he visits Los Angeles next week with his new bride. Beckham, who worked with the prince on England's failed bid to stage the 2018 World Cup, will have to miss a gala event on July 8 because it's "the night before our game [at Home Depot Center against Chicago], so, obviously, I won't be able to visit that."

He called the royal visit "such a great thing that he's here and for our country, for him to be over here with the princess. It's a huge thing."