Commerce City, Colo. - Conor Casey has had a season he's hoping to soon forget. And he's already looking ahead to a better 2013.
Battling various ailments since returning in May from Achilles surgery, the club's all-time leading scorer with 50 goals will be shut down for the final two matches.
"It's been a long season, and the way I feel right now, I've been carrying a lot of injuries throughout the season," Casey told ColoradoRapids.com on Tuesday. "The knee's been a bit swollen, but the Achilles has been good. I've had multiple muscle injuries, but right now it's mostly the knee and overall fatigue."
Casey could never get going after coming back from the injury that cut his 2011 season in half.
Five times he was held out of a game that followed one in which he played at least 67 minutes. He also often needed extra days off to recover after matches. That inconsistency in game and training minutes led him to register only two goals in 18 matches, the fewest tallies in any of his sixth MLS seasons.
Oscar Pareja has been understanding all season.
"I've always thought that the individual player is his own best doctor," Pareja said. "When they have physical difficulties or problems, we have to accept them and support them in the sense that if we have to keep them out of training, we will do that. For us our season hasn't ended yet, but unfortunately we have players with physical issues and we want them to get better."
Working out in the locker room weight room on Tuesday, Casey is determined to be at 100 percent in January.
"I'm really trying to take care of my body," he said. "And getting completely healthy and fit and ready to go for next year."