Gabriel Torres
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Gabriel Torres to work on strengthening

Rapids forward Gabriel Torres will have a modified schedule in the coming weeks, focusing on strengthening with a view toward the World Cup break. The Panamanian striker has played eight matches (five starts) for Colorado in 2014, but did not travel to Salt Lake City for Saturday’s match or Sunday’s Reserve game.

After running the usual fitness and strength tests, the Rapids medical and technical staff determined that a focus on strengthening would benefit Torres in the long term.

“We ran our normal tests and found that Gaby had some significant muscle damage as a result of his efforts over the first few months of the season,” said Rapids Head Coach Pablo Mastroeni. “It’s the kind of thing that could easily lead to an injury, and rather than risk that, we’d like to take the time to build him back up to full strength.”

For the next several weeks, Torres will work with the Rapids athletic training staff on strength, flexibility and fitness, and will be shut down temporarily from most soccer activities.

“Gaby is an incredibly important part of this team, a player who is in our plans for this season and years to come,” said Mastroeni. “We want to make sure he has all the tools he needs to succeed. This intensive physical work will benefit Gaby in the short term and the long term.

“We do a lot of testing with our players to make sure they’re in the best condition possible, and a decision like this helps us have him available for the rest of the season, not just the next few weeks.”

The Rapids have upcoming matches against RSL and Montreal in May, followed by three matches in the first week of June before a three-week break for the World Cup. The technical staff is targeting a June 7 return date for Torres, and the league fixture in Dallas, plus the following U.S. Open Cup matches.

“The schedule right now lends itself to this kind of work,” said Mastroeni. “With the World Cup break coming up, this was a great chance to help Gaby get back to full strength and be ready for the second half of the season.”