CINCINNATI (AP) — The Reds activated first baseman Joey Votto off the disabled list on Tuesday, but will go easy with the first baseman until his left knee is back to normal.
Votto hadn't played since July 15 because of damaged cartilage in the knee that required two operations. He had a rehab stint in Class A Dayton and Triple-A Louisville last week.
Votto wasn't in the lineup for a game against the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday. The 2010 NL MVP said the knee is getting better, but he's not ready to play every day.
"I think working me in slowly is the wise move," Votto said. "It's not 100 percent yet, but that will come in time."
Manager Dusty Baker said Votto could start a day game Wednesday that concludes the series against Philadelphia. There was no hurry to get Votto back in the lineup — the Reds led the NL Central by 8½ games on Tuesday, the biggest lead in the majors.
Cincinnati went 32-16 after Votto went on the disabled list.
"The plan's going to change every day, depending on how he feels," manager Dusty Baker said. "As of right now, he'll probably start tomorrow. Then we've got to watch him if there's a long inning or whatever, if he gets sore or makes a wrong move. We're going to try to preserve him and work him back in there."
Votto went 2 for 11 during his rehab stint last week. He'd hoped to get on base more so he could see how the knee held up when he ran the bases.