Commerce City, Colo. - If you've seen midfielder Jamie Smith at a Rapids training session over the last month of so, you might think he's preparing for a marathon with the amount of laps he's run around the training field.
"There's been a lot (of jogging), but I know that it's necessary, that it's important," Smith said Thursday after training. "Some days it seems as though it's Groundhog Day, doing the same thing. But there is a purpose to it."
The Scotsman is in the final stages of returning from a torn right anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) that he suffered in the 2011 playoff opener against Columbus late last October.
"We're on the home straight towards the end of the recovery," he said. "It's just the last little bit before I can fully get involved."
Smith says the coaching staff has been great about involving him as much as possible to date, which recently included allowing Smith to work in plays from the sidelines.
"I think it's that stage where I need to be careful as well," he said. "You get a little taste of it and you think you're good and everything feels good and you want to jump straight back in. This is where the medical team has been putting the reigns on me a little bit, holding me back."
Besides the running, Smith has also been working on free kicks, doing a lot of agility drills, and even taking part of some team drills, though not yet in a competitive session.
"So far, everything's feeling good," he said. "Within the next few weeks, it's a case of getting back involved, getting in a full training."
It's been nearly six months since his injury, and Smith knows the end is near.
"I'm not sure timelines or exact dates," he said. "But hopefully in the not so distant future I can be available for selection."