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Casey finally set for healthy return to Rapids lineup

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — It’s been a long and winding road to recovery for Colorado Rapids forward Conor Casey since he ruptured his Achilles last July. And after nearly 10 months away from the field, it appears it’s finally coming to a long-awaited end.

Casey is expected to be available to play Saturday against Chivas USA (9 pm ET, watch LIVE online), Rapids head coach Oscar Pareja and Casey both told this week.

“Conor is good, he’s playing with more strength,” Pareja said on Tuesday. “I think we’ll have him available for this weekend.”

The big forward was expected to return for last Saturday’s home match against the LA Galaxy, but the Rapids’ all-time leading goal-scorer picked up strep throat early last week and was unable to practice, leaving him unable to play once again.

Casey is also battling a slight groin problem, but he that said shouldn’t be a problem Saturday night.

“I just noticed a little tightness,” Casey told about his latest groin problem. “I’m trying to keep my eye on that and just trying to keep working on it this week to make sure it’s strong. I don’t think it should be an issue.”

Casey’s return can’t come soon enough for the reeling Rapids, who have lost three straight and have only scored one goal in those three contests. Omar Cummings has looked uncomfortable at times acting as the point man in a three-man strike force, and Casey is working hard to get back and resume his regular duties at the point.

“After being sick last week, [I’m] just getting back into it, getting my legs under me and trying to get ready to be available for the weekend,” Casey said.

Casey is expected to come off the bench Saturday while he continues to return to full fitness, with the starting trio of Tony Cascio, Omar Cummings and Brian Mullan once again set to start up top against Chivas on Saturday night at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

Chris Bianchi covers the Colorado Rapids for