Related Stories

COMMERCE CITY — Rapids striker Conor Casey says he feels nearly fit enough to play and expects to be available next week when the Rapids host the Los Angeles Galaxy. Casey ruptured his left Achilles tendon last season on July 16.

"I'm pretty close," Casey said. "I think I'm going to give myself one more week."

The Rapids play Saturday in Seattle, where Casey was injured last year. The year before in Seattle, Casey left the game with a bloody gash in his head and a concussion.

Last year the artificial turf at CenturyLink Field was covered temporarily with grass for a friendly with Manchester United, which was played four days later.

Rapids striker Conor Casey.
Rapids striker Conor Casey. (Seth A. McConnell, The Denver Post)

"I felt like somebody kicked me as hard as they could in the back of the foot," Casey said of the Achilles tear. "You can only speculate as to why. Obviously the field was not a good field that day, they put grass over turf, and it had whole chunks of grass shifting back and forth. If that had something to do with it, I don't know. But I can't say I noticed anything beforehand, so it's kind of a freak thing."

Rapids coach Oscar Pareja is looking forward to getting Casey back on the field.

"Conor is a natural leader," Pareja said. "Having Conor on the field is having a player who always is going to put the other teams in trouble. He's effective in the box."