Schuler nearing return from offseason injury, could play Saturday at San Jose

Sebastian Velasquez and Devon Sandoval also making progress

Chris Schuler v. LA Galaxy - 11.07.13

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USA Today Sports Images

SANDY, Utah — There's good news on the injury front for Real Salt Lake — but not great news.

The cadre of injured RSL players is making progress, according to head coach Jeff Cassar. But they're not quite there yet.

“I think it's positive on all fronts,” Cassar told reporters. “Everyone's moving forward on their injuries.”

Defender Chris Schuler “is probably further along than all of them,” as he continues to rehab from offseason foot surgery, the coach said. Schuler could see action on Saturday night at San Jose (8:30 pm MT, ABC 4).

“He's now challenging for traveling and a starting spot,” Cassar said. “I can't imagine he's going to start against San Jose, but you never know.”

Third-year man Aaron Maund got the surprise start alongside Nat Borchers on the Salt Lake back line against the LA Galaxy last Saturday, with Carlos Salcedo the main defensive option off the bench.

Another of Saturday's surprises was that midfielder Sebastian Velasquez did not even make the trip, the result of straining a hamstring in training last week.

“Nothing too bad, but we just want to make sure it's not going to linger,” Cassar said.

Velasquez is doubtful for Saturday's game against the Earthquakes but could be ready to go the following week when Real Salt Lake return home to face the Galaxy for the second time in three weeks.

Forward Devon Sandoval is also “moving forward” as he rehabs a foot injury that plagued him last season. “He's doing a lot of cardio out at the pool and things like that,” Cassar said, but Sandoval is not expected to be ready to play for at least a few weeks.

It's not just a question of getting Sandoval fit to play 90 minutes of soccer, “but it's also 90 minutes [of] impact on his foot,” Cassar said. “We don't want him to get too sore where he has to take off a few days.”