DENVER -- If the Rockies' 6-5 loss Saturday night after a dramatic comeback effort wasn't heartbreaking enough, the club learned in the ninth inning that Michael Cuddyer re-injured the right oblique strain that put him on the disable list on Aug. 4.
"It's more than likely a DL situation," manager Jim Tracy said, and Cuddyer, who lobbied to stay off the DL with his previous injury, agreed that there was no chance of avoiding it this time.
Playing his second game since coming back from the DL on Thursday, Cuddyer re-injured the oblique on his first swing in the fifth inning Saturday.
"[This time it was] a little higher, way worse feeling," Cuddyer said. "This one hurts to breathe. It hurts to talk."
In his first game back Thursday, Cuddyer hit a game-tying two-run homer in the sixth to set up a Rockies win. He took Friday off as a precaution, and head athletic trainer Keith Dugger had no questions about his health Saturday.
"It's extremely frustrating -- it's beyond frustrating," Cuddyer said. "Because I felt so good. I felt good on the rehab. I felt good the past two days. I felt good my first two at-bats. And then just one swing, pow."
Cuddyer flied out to right following the injury and remained in the game for three more innings despite knowing immediately he was in bad shape.
"I didn't want to come out, so I gave it another shot my last at-bat," Cuddyer said. "Even stayed out the next half-inning, because I didn't want to come out after an out. After my last at-bat, [first-base coach Glenallen] Hill got my helmet and batting gloves, and I couldn't even breathe."
Matt McBride replaced Cuddyer the last time he went on the DL, and would be a candidate to return to the Rockies. He was 4-for-20 in Cuddyer's absence, but hit .354 (130-for-367) for Triple-A Colorado Springs before his callup, hitting 10 homers and 77 RBIs while playing first base, left field, right field and catcher. He was shaky on defense during his two-week stint with the Rockies.
Andrew Brown is another option in the outfield, having come up in mid-July for a couple of weeks and going 5-for-24 in 11 games when infielders Chris Nelson and Jonathan Herrera went on the DL. Any move will be short term, as Carlos Gonzalez, who went on bereavement leave Saturday, will return within three to seven days. Charlie Blackmon, who was called up Saturday to replace Gonzalez, also has a chance to make a good impression and stick with the team for the duration of Cuddyer's recovery.
Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.