Edson Buddle is arguably the biggest offseason acquisition for the Colorado Rapids, but the club is going to have to do without him for now.
The right knee injury that forced Buddle to withdraw from the US national team's January camp is serious enough to keep him at home in Los Angeles for rehab, while the Rapids are in Tucson, Ariz., for the Desert Friendlies beginning on Tuesday.
On January 22, Buddle left US camp after "experiencing problems in his right knee, which he previously injured last June," according to new released by US Soccer. In June, he underwent a meniscectomy to repair damage to his right meniscus and after his return, Buddle scored just one goal in five starts, including the 2012 playoffs.
Rapids head coach Oscar Pareja is optimistic that his prized forward will be healthy when the Rapids return for training back home at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.
“We hope once we return from Arizona that he will return to training,” Pareja said of Buddle. “He won’t be going to Arizona because we’ll be competing, and I want him to finish his recovery.”
Pareja is hoping that the 31-year-old returns to his 2010 form, when he scored 17 goals and earned a spot on the US World Cup team.
The Rapids open their preseason schedule on Tuesday against the Portland Timbers, followed by matchups with the Dynamo on Thursday and the Earthquakes on Saturday.