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Injury-plagued Rapids brace for Impact

Colorado Rapids coach Oscar Pareja has navigated through injury after injury early this season to keep his club in the middle of the Western Conference, but there was more bad news this week.

Forward Conor Casey, a former United States international, injured a hamstring in training Thursday. The 30-year-old had just returned after a lengthy spell on the sideline, and could now be forced to sit again.

Without Casey, Colorado will be without its top strikers as Omar Cummings also remains sidelined with an ankle sprain ahead of Saturday's fixture against the Montreal Impact at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.

Colorado (5-6-1) midfielder Brian Mullan is also on the injury report with a knee sprain and along with Casey is doubtful. In addition, Pablo Mastroeni and Marvell Wynne are also ruled out again.

"We've had so many injuries," Pareja said. "Omar is hurt, Conor's hurt, Brian, too, so we have to adjust to what we have."

Pareja and Colorado managed a 2-2 draw with Sporting Kansas City last weekend, as it opened a stretch of five home games in a six-game span on a positive.

The Rapids trailed by two goals in the match, but came back for the draw with goals from Tyrone Marshall and Kosuke Kimura ahead of the visit by the Impact and Pareja called it a "big" point.

"I have to be honest as well and I say that of all the points that we have gotten so far, I think this one has a big, big meaning for the team because it shows a lot of character, a lot of personality, a lot of passion and desire," Pareja said.

Pareja remained confident despite the injuries, saying "we always have options and I'm always flexible." He will have to remain that way against Montreal.

Montreal (3-6-3) has done well for an expansion squad, but it has just a 1-5-1 record on the road this season. The Impact had their four-game unbeaten streak snapped last week with a 2-1 loss to Red Bull New York at home.

"Results-wise, for sure it's a slip. Again, that game could have gone the other way. It didn't," Impact manager Jesse Marsch said. "So we have to learn from it and handle those situations better.

"But in some ways, you almost feel like it's just one of those nights where the ball is just not going your way."

To get back on track, Montreal will need to produce a better result on the road this week in its final game before it opens Saputo Stadium on June 16 against Seattle Sounders FC.

"We just have to keep pushing and not feel sorry for ourselves," Marsch said.