CINCINNATI (AP) — Reds first baseman Joey Votto is recovering from a strained muscle above his left knee and could soon begin a rehabilitation assignment in the minors.
Votto has been on the disabled list since May 21, trying to get rid of inflammation and to strengthen the muscle. He stayed in Cincinnati to get treatment on the leg while the team was on a seven-day trip.
He was cleared to take batting practice with the team on Tuesday before the opener of a series against the San Francisco Giants. Rain washed out batting practice on the field, forcing players to hit indoors. He's also going to take infield practice and run the bases the next few days.
If he gets through that without a problem, he will start a rehab assignment. He and the team haven't decided how many games he'll need before he's ready to return. The Reds have gone 8-8 without him.
"I feel really good, like I was before I got hurt earlier on in the season," Votto said. "So if I can get to good place, you're going to see a little bit more of the older version of me — the younger version of me. It's one of these injuries that take a little bit of time."
Votto is the 12th Reds player to go on the disabled list this season. The 2010 National League MVP is batting .257 with six homers and 12 RBIs in 39 games.
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