Casey targeting April 21 return from Achilles rupture

Colorado's Conor Casey works out for the first time in 2012.

Photo Credit: 
Courtesy of Colorado Rapids

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — Colorado Rapids striker Conor Casey says he is targeting the club's April 21 match against the LA Galaxy for his return date from a ruptured Achilles that has kept him out of action since last July.

“I’m just in normal training now,” Casey told MLSsoccer.com on Thursday. “I’m just working to get my fitness up. I’m targeting the LA game.”

Casey has been practicing fully for close to three weeks and is working on getting back into shape. Rapids head coach Oscar Pareja said on Wednesday that Casey is in “preseason mode” and is close to returning, adding that getting back into game shape is the final hurdle for the Denver native.

“It’s been a long road back,” the Rapids' all-time leading scorer said. “I’m really happy with where I am right now. I feel like I’m really close and I just need to get that extra bit of sharpness back.”

Rookie Tony Cascio, Omar Cummings and Brian Mullan are expected to be Pareja's starters on the forward line when Colorado travel to Real Salt Lake on Saturday (9 pm ET, watch LIVE online). Cascio is likely headed to the bench once Casey returns. The forward is also expected to miss the Rapids’ April 14 clash in Seattle.

Casey tore his Achilles in a 4-3 loss to Seattle last July 16.

Chris Bianchi covers the Colorado Rapids for MLSsoccer.com.