Sandy • Real Salt Lake's back line is close to getting some reinforcement.
Defender Nat Borchers practiced without restrictions Tuesday for the first time since undergoing surgery to repair an injured quad in early January.
"It went great probably the best day yet after the surgery," Borchers said. "… It's been a long time coming. Not being out there has been tough. So [this] is a great first step."
Borchers did not offer a timetable for his return.
"I'd just say ASAP," he said. "That's really all I know because every day is different. Today was a great day, but we'll see how my body reacts tomorrow. Then I'll have to get my game fitness back. So we'll see. As soon as possible."
Meanwhile, midfielder Javier Morales continued his recovery from Feb. 4 knee surgery with restricted work during the practice session.
Morales tore a lateral meniscus on Jan. 28 in RSL's preseason game against Denmark's under-20 team. He scored three goals and had nine assists during the 2012 season, when he played in 29 matches.
Asked about Borchers and Morales, coach Jason Kreis said simply, "Both are coming along."
Real Salt Lake's home opener is Saturday against Western Conference rival Colorado, and goalkeeper Nick Rimando expects a top effort.
"You get up for any game especially any game in front of your fans," he said. "We want to put our best foot forward and get three points at home."
RSL is 1-1-0 so far after a 2-0 win at San Jose and a 1-0 loss at D.C. United last week.
The Rapids are 0-2 this season, after 1-0 losses to FC Dallas and Philadelphia.
The loss to the Union was Colorado's first in a home opener in 10 years. The game was postponed a day because of snow and eventually played in windy, 28-degree weather.
Kreis downplayed the rivalry aspect of the match against the Rapids.
"I don't know if the opponent matters at all, when it comes to home openers," he said. "I think it's all about our fans being there, being there early, being loud and being very supportive."
With five of his team's first seven games on the road, Kreis knew the start of the season would be a challenge for young and restructured RSL.
So far, he is pleased with its progress.
At the same time, Kreis says, "I'm realistic. I know we are a long way from the finished product."
Colorado at Real Salt Lake
O Saturday, 4 p.m.
TV • Ch. 4